Zack Greinke was effective in his final tuneup of the spring, going five innings against the Angels tonight, and it now seems clear he’ll make the Opening Day roster. The Dodgers wasted no time in making cuts after the game, sending down Alfredo Amezaga, Alex Castellanos, Stephen Fife, Elian Herrera, Kevin Gregg, Peter Moylan, Josh Wall, & Matt Wallach.
So! There’s a lot happening there. Amezega, Fife, Herrera, Moylan, Wall, & Wallach are no surprise, because they were almost certainly never going to make the club. Gregg (above) was somewhat of a surprise considering how highly Don Mattingly had been speaking of him, but as I guessed earlier today, the extra starters and Gregg’s lack of a March opt-out probably sealed his fate.
Castellanos going down means that Justin Sellers will indeed be on the roster and probably start at shortstop on Opening Day. We talked about this earlier, and while it’s defensible for fielding purposes, it does cause something of an outfield problem, because Jerry Hairston is now the only righty outfield backup. That means you can expect to see Andre Ethier in against every lefty ever, and while I never expected a full platoon or anything close to it, I had at least hoped that there would be some amount of limited play for him against southpaws. Carl Crawford can’t hit lefties either, and Hairston can only play one corner at a time; that’s a situation to keep an eye on.
However, the biggest surprise here is that Paco Rodriguez made the team as a second lefty (well, potentially third or fourth depending on what happens with Chris Capuano & Ted Lilly) to go with J.P. Howell. Rodriguez was outstanding in spring, with a 12/3 K/BB ratio, but with options remaining and an overstuffed roster I really didn’t think he had a shot. I was wrong, and I’m glad to be.
So an updated look at the roster…
Disabled list (4)
That’s not official yet, because a last-second trade of Capuano or Harang could still happen tomorrow, and we haven’t heard for sure that Lilly will be disabled, but I just can’t see any other way for the puzzle pieces to fit together. Again, this is a temporary solution, because something has to give when Billingsley returns, possibly as soon as April 7.