My Guess at The Dodger Postseason Roster

Justin Turner

As the Dodgers fly into Washington D.C. to begin a three game weekend series they’re enjoying a rare day off on Thursday. The schedule has been brutal for the Dodgers who have played the majority of their games over the last month on the road. August saw the Dodgers home for just 8 games and they had trips to Pittsburgh, Detroit, Arizona, Atlanta, and New York. This month sees the Dodgers traveling to San Francisco, Washington, and Philadelphia ending the regular season in Colorado.

The Dodgers finally snapped their pathetic Los Angeles record 11-game losing streak by winning two out of three against the Giants in San Francisco. The series win was the first since the Pittsburgh series in August causing many non-believers to believe in miracles. Despite the horrible stretch the Dodgers still have the best record (94-52) in baseball and a 10 game lead in the NL West. Their magic number to clinch the NL West is now at 7 games.

The Dodgers are going to clinch their fifth consecutive NL West title, probably on this current road trip. With the playoffs fast approaching the Dodgers will be looking to set their postseason roster. So I think it’s time for me to take a crack at it. Here’s my postseason roster if I were running the Dodgers.

The Pitching staff

Rotation

Normally you would go with a standard 12-man pitching staff. In the postseason you only need three starters, four in a long series. Remember if someone gets hurt you can have them replaced even if in mid series. Here are my four starters.

Clayton Kershaw

Yu Darvish

Alex Wood

Rich Hill

 

Obviously Kershaw would open the NLDS pitching games 1 and then again in game 5 if needed. Despite Darvish’s struggles I think the Dodgers will still go with him as their number two starter. Even though Darvish has been inexplicably bad since being acquired on July 31, he showed signs of life in his last start on Wednesday in San Francisco. He tossed seven shutout innings in the Dodger’s 4-1 win over the Giants. Hopefully that’s the start of him putting the command problems behind him.

If Wood is healthy he’ll be the third starter for the Dodgers. Wood has been battline inflammation in his SC joint the latter part of the season but has turned in a terrific season. Wood has a 14-3 record with a 2.81 ERA. He’s been arguably the second best starter for the Dodgers (behind Kershaw) all season long.

Rich Hill would be the fourth starter if needed. The southpaw has had an up and down season but is still striking out 10.7/9 and allowing just 7.0 hits per nine innings. He was flawless in July posting a 4-0 record and a 1.45 ERA with a 40K/5BB ratio. He’s rebounded this month after a poor August, allowing only four earned runs on 6 hits across 11 frames with a 3.27 ERA.

 

Bullpen

If you’re going to use 4 starters that means you’ll use 8 relievers in the bullpen. Let’s start with the locks. Closer Kenley Jansen, Brandon Morrow, Josh Fields and Pedro Baez are all locks. Morrow and Fields should pitch the seventh and eighth innings. I wouldn’t even touch Baez in the playoffs but we all know Dave Roberts will continue to go with him in high leverage situations no matter how much he proves to the Dodgers that he absolutely can’t pitch in those scenarios.

I would carry Hyun-jn Ryu as a long man/spot starter just in case. That leaves three spots remaining. The Dodgers need two left handers. My choice would be Tony Cingrani and Luis Avilan. Say what you will about Avilan but he’s had a very good season. He’s posted a 2.89 ERA in 58 appearances and struck out 48 against 19 walks in 43.2 innings pitched. He’s posted a 2.92 FIP and struck out 9.9 per nine innings.

Cingrani should get the other spot. He’s struck out 22 and walked just 3 batters in 15 innings pitched since joining the Dodgers. He’s been pretty good after having a couple of really bad outings. He’s allowed just one home run and struck out 13.2 per nine.

The last spot can go to Ross Stripling which means Tony Watson, Edward Parades, Kenta Maeda, Wilmer Font and Josh Ravin are all off the roster. What about Walker Buehler? Too inexperienced in my opinion.

Position players

That leaves 13 remaining spots for position players. Obviously guys like Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, and Chris Taylor are all going to make the roster. Yasiel Puig, Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes will also make the roster. With Bellinger at first base, Seager at Short, Turner at Third, Taylor in center, and Puig in right field means that three positions are up for grabs, catcher, second base and left field.

I would have Yasmani Grandal be the starting catcher unless he is physically unable to do so. I know this is very unpopular right now among fans because Grandal is in a prolonged slump. Even with the slump Grandal is still a legitimate power threat (19 home runs) and one of the best pitch-framers in the game. Pitch-framing is very important because the more strikes you steal the more outs your pitching staff records.

With Grandal behind the plate, that means Barnes should get the nod at second base. Logan Forsythe has been a disaster at the plate, although he’s not altogether horrible. Despite the lack of production he still gets on base at a good clip and has a steady glove. I’m fine with him on the bench. Barnes is a better hitter than Forsythe and younger and faster. He’s having a terrific season and there’s no reason to keep him out of the lineup in favor of a weaker hitter.

All that’s left is to figure out who plays left field. This is where the Dodgers have options, but none of them are very good. At this point I think the best choice is to have veteran Andre Ethier play against right handers and Enrique Hernandez against lefties. I can’t believe I’m writing this but Hernandez has been productive against left handers this year, posting a 145 OPS+. He’s atrocious against right handers, so in those games you can starts Ethier.

The other options aren’t appealing. Joc Pederson is a mess. Curtis Granderson is in the worst slump in his career and an automatic out. You’re not going to play Charlie Culberson obviously and the only other choice is rookie Alex Verdugo who has two weeks of MLB experience. In this case I would take experience over anything. Ethier hasn’t played much this year but if you remember he had two key hits for the Dodgers in postseason last year after receiving little playing time in September. His single in game 4 of the NLDS helped setup Chase Utley’s game-winning hit and then he homered in game 1 of the NLCS against the Cubs.

So when Ethier is in against a right hander the bench would consist of Utley, Hernandez, Kyle Farmer (With Barnes starting at second it’s a good idea to have a third catcher on hand) Forsythe, Joc Pederson. That pushes veterans Adrian Gonzalez, Granderson, and rookie Verdugo off the roster. Sorry guys.

Pitching staff

Clayton Kershaw

Yu Darvish

Alex Wood

Rich Hill

Hyun-jin Ryu

Kenley Jansen

Brandon Morrow

Josh Fields

Pedro Baez

Luis Avilan

Tony Cingrani

Ross Stripling

 

Position players

Infielders

Cody Bellinger

Corey Seager

Justin Turner

Logan Forsythe

Enrique Hernandez

Chase Utley

 

Outfielders

Yasiel Puig

Chris Taylor

Andre Ethier

Joc Pederson

 

Catchers

Yasmani Grandal

Austin Barnes

Kyle Farmer

 

Here’s how the batting order should look against right handers

 

Taylor

Seager

Turner

Bellinger

Puig

Barnes

Grandal

Ethier

Pitcher

 

Against a left hander……

 

Taylor

Seager

Turner

Bellinger

Puig

Barnes

Hernandez

Grandal

Pitcher

 

Thoughts?

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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19 thoughts on “My Guess at The Dodger Postseason Roster

  1. I don’t agree with carrying a 3rd catcher just so you don’t play Forsthye. It just seems like they would be wasting a roster spot. Farmer does not deserve a spot on the roster.

  2. That lead is now 9.5 as the Snakes beat the Rockies today. Scott, Grandal may be a great pitch framer, but he is atrocious at blocking balls in the dirt. He is hitting about .240 over the year and about .100 since September began. I want the more athletic and consistent hitter in Barnes in there as much as possible. I would hate to see Kersh lose a game because he buries that back door slider and it gets by that concrete block sitting behind the plate. Yeah, Grandal has power, but he sure has not shown it for quite a while and my other gripe, the guy is the biggest rally killer on this team. Barnes has been their best pinch hitter, but I like his bat and agility behind the plate. His best asset is he adjusts with 2 strikes and will go the other way, Granny Groundout always is trying to pull the ball. A-Gone and Ethier will be there simply because of their veteran status, and this is Ethier’s last hurrah. The only way A-Gone is not on the roster is if his back does not respond these last 2 weeks to treatment. I can’t stand Avilan, his stuff is iffy, and Watson has pitched better than he has lately. I know Roberts will bring Baez along, but I wish the guy would trip and hurt his ass or something. My guess though, Granderson will replace Joc on the roster. Granderson was acquired because of what he has done to guys like Arietta. I also doubt they will keep Farmer on the roster. But I guess we will see in a couple of weeks….

      1. Heavens tell me why Granderson should be on the playoff roster?
        Forsythe should still make the roster even if it is just for his glove. Defense is still a priority. Dodgers are one of the best in the league.
        Ethier, because of his experience and talent, she should be allowed to play and possibly start in LF. He is superior to both Granderson and Kike presently and historically.
        If Gonzalez is healthy, he should also be the backup 1b and a PH. Bellinger is firmly established at this point. Taylor should be in CF and Utley should be rotated with Forsythe.
        I would think Barnes has earned the starting job at C, but Roberts is a very stubborn manager and slow to come to the truth. He suffers from the inability to change and to give too many chances to slumping players. Grandal should backup Barnes.

        Let’s see how the boys do against Washington and see if our two game winning streak can extend itself. Yu pitched like a champ the other night. If only Maeda would catch fire.

        1. Forsythe will be on the roster because of his glove and his OBP, which is high because he walks a lot. And FAZ traded for him to be the everyday 2B. Granderson will make it because of his prior experience and success against a couple of the RHP they will most likely see if they make the Championship series.

          1. Forsythe will probably start against lefties. I’d be fine with that but he can’t start against righties. That’s where Farmer could be important if we want to play Barnes at 2B against righties.

      2. It depends on his health MJ. His back is still a huge issue and he had a shot just so he could play the other night. A-Gone as a PH has not had a lot of success. Best this year has been Barnes, but I would rather have his bat and glove in the lineup every night. Farmer will not make it. Kid has not even played since his call up. Ethier to me anyway is the best option in left field. I am hedging my bets and saying they keep Granderson on the roster, and dump Joc.

  3. I think a lot of things are still up in the air, and the series with the Nationals could stabilize the lineup or throw it out of whack again.

    Our matchups do not look good. Wood has not been pitching well and Hill is totally hit and miss at this point. And in the 3rd game we have Ryu against Strasburg. Strasburg is on a major tear and has the longest scoreless streak in the majors (34 innings).

    I think, with the relief corps, you have to throw out the stats before the all star game. Actually maybe one should do that for all of the pitchers. I am taking a very close look at our relievers in this series with the playoffs in mind. We will need everyone to step up and hopefully Baez can pull himself together though I think he is done for the season.

    Hitters are certainly catching up to Baez and it is not pretty. Unless Baez goes on a tear against the Nationals, I think even Roberts will leave him off the playoff roster. I think they are seriously looking at Buehler as a replacement for Baez.

    For long relief, I would rather have Ryu and Stripling. I still think we need 3 middle relievers for the postseason and therefore I think either Maeda or Font takes that spot. This one is still up for auditioning. As for Ryu and Maeda taking a long time to warm up – just get them in the bullpen earlier and think outside the box a little. Nothing says you have to use a long reliever to get a starter out of a jam before the 4th inning. Get the starter out of the jam first and use the long relief with a fresh inning. For example, if Hill is having trouble in the 3rd, pull him and put in Buehler, Cingrani or Watson for 2-3 outs. Then put in Ryu or Maeda, and hope they can go once through a lineup, or maybe even twice and into the 7th, or the 8th if they can go more than once through the lineup. Then you still have a bunch of options for the 7th, then Morrow for the 8th and Jansen for the 9th.

  4. Granderson will be on the roster because of FAZ arrogance. They picked him up for the post season, not the regular season. My guess is that so will Ethier and Agon. Having those three along with Utley are the FAZ model for a post season tournament. Unfortunately they are all left handed batters. Oh well!

    1. Michael that was Package that asked you about Agone, but I agree with your assessment about Agone.

      Scott you can’t play Barnes at second when he hasn’t played there much at all, this year.

      I don’t want to lose another game because a player is not familiar enough with all of these shifts, like what happened in 2015!

      So I don’t play Barnes out of position at second, because he has not played there enough, this year.

      So Forsythe is at second for me, and Chase will play second, against certain righties, where he is the best match up.

      I play at catcher, who ever Roberts goes mostly with the rest of the season, so Roberts better play Barnes like he has said, to get him use to all of our pitchers, or Grandal will start for me, so that will be decided later.

      Artieboy brought up all the leftie bats on the bench, so Farmer might be on the roster, not only for a back up to Barnes, but to have another rightie bat on the bench, besides Kike.

      Ryu can’t be used out of the bullpen, because it takes him way to long to prepare to pitch.

      But if he pitches a well in the game against the Nats and Wood doesn’t, I might put Ryu in the rotation, and stick Wood in the bullpen.

      Because Wood can throw with more velocity in the pen, because he will only be pitching, a couple of innings.

      And when Wood’s velocity has been down this year, he gets hit pretty easy, so if Ryu shows me on Sunday that he can pitch effectively against the Nats, he just might be in my rotation over Wood, especially if Wood gets hit again, tonight!

      But the team skipping Ryu’s last start and pitching Maeda instead, wasn’t the best thing for the team, or best for Ryu, because it is hard for Ryu to keep his good command, when they skipped his last start!

      A bullpen session isn’t the same, as starting, and pitching, in a game!

      I think it is still to early to decide who will be in the bullpen.

      But Roberts better use Ethier or Verdugo in left, in case Granderson never gets right!

      And it is about time, that Roberts shows the same loyalty he has with Granderson, with these other two players, and give them a chance to play!

      But I don’t know what Ethier can do to get a chance, after he hit a ball out in that one game, and he had two hits in the next game.

      Because Roberts has not played Ethier once, since that last game he had two hits, and how is that helping Either to continue to hit?

      One of the biggest reasons that Granderson is on this team, is because he has a good OPS against some of the Nat’s pitchers, so let’s see what he does in this next series.

      But I doubt the Nats will be pitching their top pitchers against us, in this next series.

      Because we are not allowing the Nats to get a late look at our top two starting pitchers, in this next series, so they probably will do the same!

  5. We will miss Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzales. But we will get Strasburg who is the hottest pitcher in baseball right now.

    Our so-called league best starters do not match up against them at all. They are league best in SABR only. So our formerly-number-one-now-number-three-ranked bullpen will be the key against them. Wood going back to the bullpen is a good idea, if Ryu holds up.

    1. YF

      The Nats are not throwing any of their good pitchers in the first two games, and I swore I saw Gio was pitching Sunday, but I could be wrong!

  6. Wood only allowed two HRs in the first half, in his 11 starts, and he has already allowed 11 HRs, in his last nine starts!

    He also keeps saying his stuff was good, and his problem, was only command issues, but his average velocity in the second half, has only been just over 91.

    His average velocity in the first half, was 92, to just over 93.

  7. Enough of The Seizure (Grand Mal = Grandal, making it easy for ya). He is really really bad and actually getting worse each at bat. Remove The Seizure and give us the Barnes.

    1. True

      He is striking out 50 percent of the time, he needs to sit for a while, because continuing to play him, isn’t doing him any good.

      And I don’t dislike Grandal like some of you guys, but even Nomar and Jerry said the same, about both Granderson and Granderson.

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