We aren’t very far from the new MLB season starting! It’s an exciting time for fans and players alike. Last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers finished with 111 wins but found themselves bounced from the postseason in the Wild Card round by their division rival in the San Diego Padres. Over this offseason, Los Angeles did lose some talent but they also decided it was time for a youth injection.
With having one of the best farm systems around the game, the Dodgers had the luxury of having an offseason like they just did. With Spring Training coming to a close soon, here is a prediction on how the Dodgers roster may look come Opening Day.
Starting Pitchers: LHP Clayton Kershaw, LHP Julio Urias, RHP Noah Syndergaard, RHP Dustin May, RHP Ryan Pepiot
The Dodgers believe in their starting rotation and rightfully so. They have been very good over the last few years despite the revolving door of backend starters. Urias has turned himself into one of the better pitchers around the game and will be in line for a massive payday at the end of the year. Kershaw will be Kershaw and could be entering his final season depending how things go. They brought in Syndergaard to eat innings and be that third guy in the rotation. A healthy Dustin May should scare opposing teams and finally, it rounds out with Pepiot, who looked good in limited time last season.
RHP Tony Gonsolin would also be here but he will be on the 15-day DL to start the season.
Relief Pitchers: LHP Alex Vesia, LHP Caleb Ferguson, RHP Brusdar Graterol, LHP Victor Gonzalez, RHP Yency Almonte, RHP Evan Phillips, RHP Shelby Miller and RHP Andre Jackson
The Dodgers have already said that they will enter the season with two left handed pitchers in the bullpen and that they could add a third. However, I don’t see it for now. Shelby Miller has been bad this spring but the team will likely give him a chance to start the year. I think they go with some guys who have proven they can pitch at the major league level and can always adjust as the season goes along. Now the biggest question is Jackson, who has been very good during limited time. He deserves the chance to be on the Opening Day roster.
RHP Andre Jackson's stats this spring for the Dodgers:
The 26-year-old needs to open the season on the Opening Day roster in the bullpen. He could be one of the team's best weapons this year.
— Noah Camras (@noahcamras) March 21, 2023
Catcher: Will Smith and Austin Barnes
Smith has turned himself into one of the better catchers around the sport so he job is safe. The Dodgers have a a really nice prospect in Diego Cartaya almost ready to make the major leagues but for now Smith is the starter. Barnes is one of the better backup catchers around baseball and he is one of the leaders in the clubhouse. He also showed his talent during the World Baseball Classic with Team Mexico. The Dodgers have options at catcher and that’s a good thing.
First Base: Freddie Freeman
The first season in Dodger blue for Freeman was a special one. He led the league in hits and had a batting average of .325 for the season. He is one of the leaders in this clubhouse and will likely once again produce All-Star production for this team.
Second Base: Miguel Vargas
The rookie will get his shot as the starting second baseman for this Dodgers team. He looked just alright in a September call up last season but he has had an entire offseason to work with now. Vargas is a very skilled player and he should be able to thrive hitting in the Dodgers loaded lineup. He is exactly the type of player that could inject some more fun and energy into this team.
Shortstop: Miguel Rojas
This spot was meant for Gavin Lux but after he sustained a season ending injury early in Spring Training, the job now goes to the veteran Rojas. Rojas was acquired as a depth piece but now vaults into the starting spot. However, he should be comfortable with that as he was the Marlins shortstop last season. He should be able to hold down the position for however long the team needs him to do so.
Third Base: Max Muncy
The versatility of Muncy will allow him to become the everyday third baseman for the team with Justin Turner heading to Boston. Muncy has been a staple of the Dodgers for the last few years and had a down year last season. He will be looking to bounce back and will be a big part of the success or lack thereof for this team.
Outfielders: Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, Trayce Thompson, Jason Heyward, David Peralta, and James Outman
Outman is having a breakout Spring Training for the Dodgers and he more than deserves to be on the Opening Day lineup. Fans everything hope that he does indeed make the team. The others on this list are almost guarantees at this point and what was a strength for the Dodgers just a few years ago, now may be one of their biggest questions. They have depth and the players they have are good but it doesn’t look like the same core of players that made their outfield such a strength.
Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez
The Dodgers seem to be heading in a different direction than in previous years. Normally, they like to employ multiple designated hitters throughout but this season, they expect to put out the same designated hitter in the majority of games. Martinez signed with the team to be their everyday DH now that the National League has the position in the lineups. Martinez isn’t the same player that he was five years ago but he can still mash the ball and will be a valuable piece to this team for the coming year.
Projected Opening Day Lineup:
1. RF Mookie Betts
2. 1B Freddie Freeman
3. C Will Smith
4. 3B Max Muncy
5. DH J.D. Martinez
6. 2B Miguel Vargas
7. CF Jason Heyward
8. LF Chris Taylor
9. SS Miguel Rojas
Pitcher: LHP Julio Urias