The World Series kicks off tonight at 5 PM PST from Fenway Park. This is the 20 franchise appearance for the Dodgers in the World Series, and the eleventh since the boys in blue moved to Los Angeles. The Dodgers and Red Sox have both released their 25-man World Series rosters. For the Dodgers, the roster will look almost the same with one slight change. Caleb Ferguson has been replaced by Scott Alexander. Both are left handers, and while Ferguson has been on the NLDS and NLCS rosters pitching in both series respectively, Alexander has not pitched since the end of the regular season.
There are some arguments that can be made on both sides of this, but I am not sure exactly why the Dodgers are doing this. Not a huge knock on Alexander. He didn’t pitch terribly during the regular season despite having command issues. While Alexander did post a 3.68 ERA/3.57 FIP across 66 frames during the regular season, he did issue 3.7 BB/9 to go along with a 2-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Ferguson on the other hand posted a 3.49 ERA/3.79 FIP over 49 regular season innings with a 2.2 BB/9 rate. Ferguson struck out 10.8 per nine in comparison to Alexander whiffing 7.8 per nine. The big difference may be that Ferguson allowed 8 home runs, but Alexander allowed only 4 all season. Ferguson tossed three scoreless innings in the postseason this October, not allowing a hit and issuing just one free pass while striking out three.
Here is the #Dodgers' 25-man roster for the #WorldSeries. pic.twitter.com/2yZotvSCdm
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 23, 2018
In regards to their splits, both hurlers performed very well against left handed hitters. The Dodgers primarily used Ferguson as a left handed specialist during their postseason run to the World Series in 2018. Ferguson limited left handed hitters to a .217/.299/.435 slash line in 77 plate appearances during the regular season. Alexander limited left handers to a .172/.248/.460 line over 109 plate appearances.
The difference could be that Alexander is an extreme ground ball pitcher. He induces a lot of double play grounders and the Red Sox are a team that is prone to hitting into those. The Dodgers may feel he is a better option to counter Boston’s left handed swatters like Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rafael Devers. My opinion is I would have liked to see Ferguson stay on the roster because he pitched so well during the NLDS and NLCS. Perhaps the Dodgers also want to keep his workload down too? I’m just weary of Alexander’s control problems. What do you guys think?
#KershawDay – #WorldSeries edition pic.twitter.com/8mkF0LNfKp
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 23, 2018
You can watch the first game of the World Series tonight on FOX. Clayton Kershaw will counter Chris Sale with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 PM PST. Catch all the pregame festivities as well. Those will air around 4:30 PM PST. Go Blue.
9 thoughts on “Dodgers Release World Series Roster, Alexander Replaces Ferguson”
You hit the nail on the head Scott, Alexander is there because of his ground ball tendencies. Ferguson gives up a lot of fly balls and my guess is they do not think that plays well in Fenway. The other thing might be that Ferguson is also a multiple innings guy for the most part and since Wood is on the roster, they kind of cancel each other out. I am surprised he replaced Ferguson and not Urias, who although he was effective was also lucky as he gave up some shots. Tonight’s line up…………….Dozier, Turner, Freese, Machado, Taylor, Kemp, Puig, Hernandez, Barnes…………Red Sox…………Betts, Benintendi, Pearce, Martinez, Bogaerts, Devers, Kinsler, Leon, Bradley JR. ……………….2 lefty’s against Kersh, none facing Sale…
I like putting Alexander on the roster.
Between Wood and Ferguson, who both have a lot of innings due to starting most of the season, I’d have kept Ferguson but Wood is more ground ball than Ferguson. You can clearly see the strategy here.
If any of our relievers has any real discomfort that affects his performance, he will be declared injured and Caleb will get the call.
Hey Hey Hey, Matt Kemp is in the lineup! I hope he doesn’t strike out 4 times. If not then he should be able to help, I hope.
Matt Kemp hits a homer in his first ever world series at bat.
My man Matt clears the green monster Wonder why Dummy prefers to let Matty sit?
Yeah, they are keeping the game close. Kemp and Freese still in the lineup even with RHP. Kemp 1-3 right now, but Kershaw gave up 5 runs in 4 plus innings…they can’t win with starting pitching like that. Turner, 2-3, Freese 2-3, Machado 3 ribbies. I know he started Kike against a lefty, but the guy is in a huge slump, as is Muncy…….At least no Grandal and Barnes has made some impressive stops…
One of 36 players to ever homer in their first ever World Series at bat. Good for Matt. Urias now in his 2nd inning of relief. It also looks like Kemp is going to play the whole game…..
Machado has 3 ribbies. 5-4 bottom of the 7th. They still have a shot. Have left 7 men on base. Bellinger 2 weak fly balls. Bench now empty.
I hate to say it but I was right about Wood. Sigh.
It’s one game and it’s not over yet … can we score 5 runs in two innings ….
Looking ahead, I am hoping that we learned from last year and start to pitch around the hot hitters (JD Martinez and Benintendi).