The Dodgers are less than a week from beginning their run at the World Series title, but October baseball has already started. At the time of writing this, Didi Gregorious just tied up the AL Wild Card game with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first. This is going to be one wild month.
Before Los Angeles can get on the field Friday, they have some big decisions to make regarding the postseason roster. Dave Roberts caught up with the media on Tuesday and answered some questions, though most of his answers were open-ended.
J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweeted that Pedro Baez, Joc Pederson, and Andre Ethier are all still battling for a spot on the postseason roster.
Same goes for Joc Pederson, Roberts said. "For Joc right now the role would be a left-handed bat off the bench," but no decision yet.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 4, 2017
If Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson are both battling for that role as a left-handed bat off the bench, I don’t see how Ethier doesn’t get it. Besides the fact that he is a 12-year veteran with the Dodgers, his numbers have been much better Pederson’s this season. In 38 plate appearances, Ethier has a slash line of .235/.316/.441 and has hit two home runs. Joc Pederson, on the other hand, has a slash line of .162/.278/.303 since the All-Star Break.
Pedro Baez is also trying to get a spot on the postseason roster, which is probably making Dodger fans cringe everywhere. Before your mind goes to his outing against the Phillies on September 19th where he gave up four runs, let’s look at how he has been since. In his four outings after that to end the season, Baez pitched 3.4 innings, struck out seven, and gave up zero runs. So will he, or should he, be on the postseason roster? Who knows, but those last four outings definitely helped his case.
Dave Roberts also commented on pitching, confirming that Rich Hill will start game two and Yu Darvish will start game three. He also noted that Hyun-Jin Ryu is not an option out of the bullpen, so if he makes the roster it will be as a starter.
Rich Hill will start Game 2, Dave Roberts confirms. Yu Darvish goes in Game 3.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) October 4, 2017
Roberts wouldn't say officially Alex Wood is starting in NLDS but "He’s earned the opportunity to potentially get a long look as a starter.”
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) October 4, 2017
It will be very surprising to see if Hyun-Jin Ryu makes the roster, though it makes sense that a starting role is his only option because Ryu does not have the experience that Wood has out of the bullpen. Something interesting to keep in mind is that Ryu has not done very well against Colorado this year, giving up 16 earned runs in four starts against them. He hasn’t done to well against Arizona either, giving up seven runs in two starts; however, he did well in his last start against them where he pitched six innings of one-run baseball.
The Dodgers technically don’t have to announce their playoff roster until Friday, so they have plenty of time. Expect the results from the NL Wild Card game to play a big factor in filling those last few spots!
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