The first hurdle in this year’s National League Divisional Series will be the winner of a wild card game consisting of teams they have eliminated recently in the playoffs. Now is the time the front office, Dave Roberts and his team of coaches, will strategically put together their best roster when they kick off their 2019 postseason.
So, who is in? It is likely the Dodgers will take 13 positional players and 12 pitchers into the best of five series. Let’s start with the locks. Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, tight hamstring and all, Will Smith, Russell Martin, and Max Muncy and all booked in.
I also believe Gavin Lux will be included. That’s 10 with three spots to fill. David Freese is an October legend, he is in. Matt Beaty has that Kirk Gibson style at-bat and potential here and Kristopher Negron, a throwaway trade, will likely round out the position spots due to his solid contributions. This means Austin Barnes and Jedd Gyrko will be watching from the bench.
Next, are the 12 pitcher positions. We can write in sharp the three starting pitchers – Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Walker Buehler. The bullpen has similar securities in Kenley Jansen, Javier Baez, Joe Kelly, Kenta Maeda, and Julio Urias. The Dodgers will need additional lefties out of the pen, so Adam Kolarek will be there. Ross Stripling is an innings eater, and if game 4 will be a bullpen type game, he is a must-have as well. That leaves two spots and one question about Rich Hill looming. If he is anywhere close to being healthy, he will be in. The last spot will come down to which rookie pitcher they can trust more, Dustin May or Tony Gonsolin.
I believe it’s May, his stuff is filthy and plays well in the postseason. However, if Hill cannot go, look for both May and Gonsolin to be suited up for the opening series against the wild card game-winner.
Remember is a player is taken off the postseason roster, due to injury, he cannot be included on the roster for the next series. This makes Hill’s inclusion trickier than any others. The other name to consider is another left, Caleb Ferguson. It will come down to which team comes to Chavez Ravine Thursday, October 3rd and how the team wants to make up against either the Milwaukee Brewers or the Washington Nationals.
Who is getting snubbed? Who shouldn’t be there? You tell me.
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