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Los Angeles Dodgers Justin Sellers, Tony Gwynn, Jerry Sands and Dee Gordon head to the practice field prior to game vs Chicago White Sox Monday, March 5, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers 2012

If I Chose the 25-Man Roster...

 

Spring Training is finally upon us. In less than one month we will be watching regular season Dodger games. Today in the Dodgers’ Spring Opener we had a glimpse of what the Opening Day lineup probably will look like. To our chagrin, the wrong Ellis will be batting second in the order while the other Ellis with a much better OBP is buried down in the eighth hole. I’m sure we’ll be complaining about that throughout the season when Mark Ellis isn’t gettin’ on base in front of Matt Kemp. Lineups can be tweaked during the season, but the 25-man roster will mostly be decided this Spring.

During this month we will have the opportunity to see some of our prospects play amongst both the veterans and the cemented in roster players. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to me that the Dodgers are looking to give any of these youngsters a go on the squad just yet unless they really turn heads at Camelback Ranch in the coming weeks. The Dodgers have already signed punchless guys like Matt Treanor and Adam Kennedy to essentially waste roster spots. It’s a given that there always is a couple of these types which are ultimately cut later in the season but annoyingly afforded way too long of a stint on the team-I’m talking about you Dioner Navarro, Marcus Thames, and Garrett Anderson. Some of these players are  either old and trying to hang on at the end of their career, or they are those that never panned out, or perhaps they are players who just turned sour once they put on the Dodger uniform.

If I was the general manager of the Dodgers there would be no roster spot wasters on my clock. Albeit I would have also signed Hiroki Kuroda and slotted Nathan Eovaldi in the fifth rotation spot instead of picking up Harang and Capuano, but alas those moves have been made already. I’m going to have to choose my 25 men from those available in camp.

1. Matt Kemp

2. Andre Ethier

3. Tony Gwynn Jr.

4. Juan Rivera

5. Jerry Sands

6. James Loney

7. Justin Sellers

8. Juan Uribe

9. Jerry Hairston Jr.

10. Dee Gordon

11. Tim Federowicz

12. A.J. Ellis

13. Clayton Kershaw

14. Chad Billingsley

15. Ted Lilly

16. Aaron Harang

17. Chris Capuano

18. Kenley Jansen

19. Javy Guerra

20. Todd Coffey

21. Scott Elbert

22. Matt Guerrier

23. Mike MacDougal

24. Josh Lindblom

25. Mark Ellis

So as you can see, the starting rotation is pretty set in stone. Unfortunately we already wasted our money by signing Capuano when we could have gone with Eovaldi. There’s nothing more that I wouldn’t give to see a rotation of Kersh, Bills, Lilly, Rubby, and Eovaldi.

As far as the bullpen, the last spot is up for grabs since Blake Hawksworth will start the season disabled. I would choose Josh Lindblom. He impressed me at the end of the season last year.

In the outfield, I still like Tony Gwynn Jr. for defense, but we could have gone with Sands instead of Rivera this season. I understand why they signed Juan. He did add much-needed offense to the lineup behind Kemp after the Dodgers picked him up from the scrap heap. I would add Sands to the mix to play some OF as well as 1B, and I will be getting angry if I don’t see him starting next year at the latest.

Ever since Russell Martin was injured and wasn’t signed by the Dodgers, the catching situation has been a hot mess. Fangraphs just yesterday ranked the Dodgers dead last in catching. I say just let Ellis and FedEx play while watching Griff Erickson in AAA. Treanor is completely useless at the plate. Other than his defense he is just wasting a roster spot in my opinion. We also have Steve Yeager as part of the coaching staff there to mentor these young guys, so Treanor’s veteran presence is just costing us a worthwhile chance to play a prospect who could possibly add some run production to the season and gain some valuable big league experience.

Then there’s the infield. The infield is almost as bad as the catching situation especially if Loney and Uribe are stagnant. Dee Gordon has a lot riding on his speediness this season, but I’m somewhat worried about his tendency to flail at shortstop trying to make those acrobatic catches. They sure are exciting, but we cannot afford for him to get hurt. He already busted his lip this Spring. If he doesn’t endure through the entire season, Justin Sellers will have to play shortstop. We can’t really expect to rely on Jerry Hairston as the everyday shortstop. Adam Kennedy, another useless roster spot waster, can’t play shortstop. So one scenario is where Juan Uribe would have to play short and Kennedy or Hairston third. Uribe is quite good at the hot corner, so I assume he stays there. Even if he doesn’t hit, he’ll be like a designated fielder. Kennedy can’t hit, so why not have Sellers instead? Sellers is younger and can play shortstop as well.

Who would you chose on your 25-man roster? Do you think the Dodgers’ infield will be productive this season? One thing is for sure-we need runs and lots of ‘em!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @LasordasLair and yours truly @organicallyrude

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Tags: Jerry Sands Justin Sellers Los Angeles Dodgers Nathan Eovaldi Spring Training Tim Federowicz

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