Dodgers appear headed for uneventful spring with roster all but set

Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu throws against the Padres during a spring training game in 2015.

Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu throws against the Padres during a spring training game in 2015.

(Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press)

Love some suspense in your baseball training camp?

Best follow a team other than the Dodgers this spring training. When pitchers and catchers report to camp in two weeks, it could herald the beginning of an extremely uneventful spring.

Barring injury, the only roster decision the Dodgers may have to make is whether Hyun-Jin Ryu is healthy enough to start the season in the rotation.

Other than that, the team looks amazingly set. This could easily be your Dodgers opening day roster:


Rotation (five): Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood or Ryu.

Bullpen (seven): Kenley Jansen, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Joe Blanton, Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez and Yimi Garcia.

Catcher (two): Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis.

Infield (six): Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Chase Utley and Enrique Hernandez.

Outfield (five): Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke.

And play ball.

If Ryu, coming off shoulder surgery, is not deemed ready to start the season he could begin the year on a rehab assignment, buying some time. If he looks great and ready to roll, then the Dodgers would face a difficult decision of whether to put Wood in the bullpen and send Garcia to the minors, or option Wood down. Wood in the bullpen would give the Dodgers three left-handed relievers, not exactly desirable for a rotation featuring four left-handed starters.

Otherwise, unless there is a trade or injured player, the roster is set.

There are only four position players on the 40-man roster left out in this scenario — infielder/outfielder Alex Guerrero, catcher Austin Barnes, outfielder Trayce Thompson and second baseman Micah Johnson.


The problem there, of course, is Guerrero. He still has two years and $10 million left on that little contractual gem that allows him to become a free agent if he’s not on the 25-man roster. It’s a problem, and if the Dodgers can’t trade him — not easy to do for a player who hasn’t demonstrated aptitude at any particular position — they would have to eat some serious salary. Not that they haven’t demonstrated the willingness to do that before.

The Dodgers have two off-days within their first 13 games, so they could elect to start with only four starting pitchers the first two weeks, tweaking the initial roster. Yet unless an outfielder or someone else is traded, there won’t be a lot of winning of jobs and positions this spring.