24 Hours Left For the Dodger 25-Man Roster

castellanos_spring_whites

Is Alex Castellanos about to trade in his Dodger blue for Isotope red?

By 3pm ET / 12pm PT on Sunday, the Dodgers will need to finalize their 25-man Opening Day Roster. That means in the next 24 hours, more than a few questions are going to need to be answered.

Here’s what we know right now with one calendar day and a single spring game left between now and decision time.

Active Roster Locks (20):

C — A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz
IF — Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, Luis Cruz, Jerry Hairston, Nick Punto, Juan Uribe
OF — Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Skip Schumaker

SP — Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu
RP — Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Ronald Belisario, Matt Guerrier

Disabled List (3):

Chad Billingsley, Scott Elbert, Hanley Ramirez

Still in camp (13):

C — Matt Wallach
IF – Alfredo Amezaga, Elian Herrera
OF — Alex Castellanos

SP — Zack Greinke, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, Stephen Fife
RP — Josh Wall, Kevin Gregg, Paco Rodriguez, Peter Moylan

Not technically in camp, but somehow still in the mix (1):

Justin Sellers

******

As you can see, there’s still a ton of uncertainty there, with 37 names in line for 25 spots. From the list of guys still competing for a spot, we can safely cross off Wallach, Amezega, Fife, Moylan, Rodriguez, and Wall. Remove those six, plus the three headed for the disabled list, and what you’re left with is eight players battling for five spots — Greinke, Capuano, Harang, Lilly, Gregg, Castellanos, Herrera, and Sellers.

The first spot seems very likely to go to Greinke, though I’ll hold off on calling him a “lock” until we see how he comes out of his start in Anaheim tonight, considering how much time he’s missed. It’s still possible that he begins the year on the disabled list in order to give him more time to build up arm strength, as well as to give Ned Colletti more time to work out his starting situation. However, unless tonight’s a disaster I consider that unlikely.

I’m guessing that it’s the opposite for Lilly, because he’s been both limited and ineffective this spring. It sounds as though the Dodgers are already trying to get him to agree to a disabled list stint, and it’s difficult to argue there’s a role for him right now otherwise. If he truly wants to stay with the Dodgers, as he says he does, it might be in his best interest to wait until trades are made and he’s actually ready.

Assuming that Greinke stays and Lilly doesn’t, you have six players — Capuano, Harang, Gregg, Castellanos, Herrera, and Sellers — looking at four spots, three to pitchers and one to a hitter. There’s two big questions that will go into those decisions:

1) Who gets that final bench spot?

It’s difficult if not impossible to see the Dodgers going with fewer than 12 pitchers, so that leaves only one bench spot remaining, short of an improbable trade or shocking Uribe DFA. Most of us are ready to see Castellanos get his shot on a team that badly needs a righty corner outfield option with some power, but Sellers seems to have become a viable option in recent days.

92topps_aaronharang2) Three pitchers — Capuano, Gregg, & Harang — for two spots. Who misses out?

Two of those pitchers were effective starters in the bigs last season. One was so awful that he was cut by the Orioles and needed our help to understand why he didn’t get a big league contract this winter. So in theory this should be simple, but Gregg seems to be the annual spring training NRI mirage — “hey, 0.87 ERA in 10.1 innings! No, don’t mind the four strikeouts!” — and Harang doesn’t seem to be a fit at all in the bullpen.

Jon Weisman surfaced at Dodger Thoughts to make the argument that neither starter should be sold at a deep discount just to make room for a guy like Gregg, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. Since we’ve shockingly gone through the entire spring without seeing a starting pitcher traded, and since Gregg does not have an out clause before the season, I’m beginning to believe that he’ll be sent to Albuquerque and both Capuano & Harang will start in the bullpen. Neither will likely be thrilled about that, but the alternatives are limited.

Of course, these are all only very temporary solutions; Billingsley reportedly looked great in a minor league outing yesterday, and could return as soon as April 7. No matter who the Dodgers break camp with tomorrow afternoon, it’s almost certainly not going to be the same group we see 10 days from now.

142 comments
KMT59
KMT59

tonight's game is also one of the free games on MLB.tv, live so you won't have to wait for FSW or the really delayed game on MLBNetwork

Well hopefully it works unlike the KCAL game last night

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

Not sure how much it's been discussed as I've been away from the Internet, but to weigh in on Sellers possibility on starting the year at SS. I don't hate it. He has better range than Cruz and I think Cruz's solid glove and quick hands serve him better at 3rd. Sellers is a great defensive SS and could most likely out produce Uribe with the opportunity tho that's not saying much. I'll take Cruz/Sellers over Uribe/Cruz defensively. I think our club has enough offense to spare especially while gaining much needed middle infield defense to compliment our good pitching.

RustyH
RustyH

Who pays the contract is a DFA'd player gets picked up? i.e. Lilly, Harrang?

The Monocle
The Monocle

Watching a great program on KCET called "Things That Aren't Here Anymore" all about LA historic landmarks that aren't here anymore.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

Someone is selling Opening Day tickets on StubHub for $110,000.90 each.  I suspect they won't sell at that price.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

Justin Sellers gets the start again today! Fuck you Poontoe!

RustyH
RustyH

Mike,

What do you think we will get in return for Harrang/Capuano/Lilly?  I think I would rather see Fife start a game over Harrang or Lilly at this point.  Wouldn't that make them the 7th and 8th on the pitching depth chart?  You could even put them behind Magill as well making them the 8th and 9th pitchers on the depth chart.

jml2279
jml2279

Any chance Uribe doesn't make the opening day roster?

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

@EephusBlue , and chance you're willing to share the Crawford .png or whatever it is you've got without a background?

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

I got ghosted. THATS A PADDLIN

The Monocle
The Monocle

@Gilbert_Vengeance local, super tatted bro playing for the home team. I like it. I hope he does well enough to give him a utility role somewhere.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@Gilbert_Vengeance There ya go Gilbert! Plus Cruz is trying to stick at 3rd so give him the chance to stick there. Hanley is only gone for another 6 or 7 weeks.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@RustyH the team that picks him up pays the league minimum the releasing club pays the rest

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@capnsparrow is it even possible that the Shredder gets cut?

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@DeucesWild That ball will be your sons centerpiece in his collection after Puig's a hall of famer with Kemp and Kershaw!

Lobo
Lobo

@DeucesWild I was going nuts when Puig came into the game last night. Everyone around me at the game thought I was nuts.

Professor Towel
Professor Towel

@Deuce @Gilbert_Vengeance Contract year. If Uribe has any remaining ability whatsoever, he'll demonstrate it this season. I wouldn't mind giving him some playing time (since he's going to be on the roster anyway).

RustyH
RustyH

@capnsparrow @RustyH That means we have very little leverage to trade and will likely need to pick a lot of their salary anyway.

RustyH
RustyH

@IBBFTW The one thing that I wanted to see is Punto try to shred Puig's jersey.

Professor Towel
Professor Towel

@Deuce @capnsparrow @RustyH Disagree. Capuano is worth his contract. He's the cheapest of the bunch though ($7m including buyout). Harang at $9m isn't worth it and Lilly at $11m definitely isn't worth it. And Lilly has a NTC.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@Deuce @capnsparrow @RustyH Lilly is probably washed up having had 2 shoulder surgeries now but the other two are still very serviceable to a mid level club looking to upgrade in innings pitched by Harang and actual wins by Capuano

RustyH
RustyH

@Deuce @capnsparrow @RustyH As Mike linked in his previous article, I don't think that the ownership group minds eating dollars if it means better prospects.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@RustyH @capnsparrow If a club has a real need for a starter we have some but not a great deal of leverage. Unless more than one or two clubs needs pitching then we have real leverage. Capuano, Harang and Lilly all are proven hurlers that can keep their era under 4 and that's better than a lot of guys who already have spots in their rotations can say for themselves.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@RustyH @Mike Petriello five starts isn't much of a sample size, though. He doesn't miss enough bats, and doesn't have pinpoint enough control to make up for it. I think he's a fringy #5, which isn't a bad guy to have, but no one to pine for.

KMT59
KMT59

@DeucesWild @capnsparrow Don't have Puig's yet (extremely Jealous) but like you I have Kemp and Kershaw on both baseballs and authentic jerseys