This Dodgers roster isn't built to last

This Dodgers roster isn't built to last
Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke did not make the trip to Australia for the season-opening series against Arizona. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

SYDNEY, Australia — The roster the Dodgers submitted to the commissioner's office on opening day won't be the same roster with which they will start the domestic part of their season.

"This is our roster for the next two days," Manager Don Mattingly said, referring to the duration of the two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.


As a concession for starting their season a week early, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks were allowed to declare three of their players roster-exempt. For the Dodgers, they were Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Brandon League. Carl Crawford, who was on paternity leave, also didn't count against the roster.

The four players are expected to be added to the active roster for the start of the series in San Diego that starts March 30.

The Dodgers have 10 relievers in Australia: Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell, Chris Perez, Jamey Wright, Paul Maholm, Seth Rosin, Jose Dominguez, Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow.

Three of those pitchers figure to be sent to the minors in the coming week. The likely candidates are Dominguez, Rodriguez and Withrow, all of whom can be demoted without clearing waivers. Infielder Alex Guerrero probably will be the fourth player dropped, as Dee Gordon and Justin Turner will platoon at second base.

The Dodgers' most difficult roster decision was to take Drew Butera as the backup catcher and send Tim Federowicz to the minor leagues. Because of the shortage of catching depth, the Dodgers couldn't afford to option Butera and risk losing him on a waiver claim. Federowicz still has options, meaning he could be demoted without clearing waivers.

"That was a rough one," Mattingly said.

Others sent to the minor leagues were right-hander Zach Lee, outfielder Joc Pederson and infielder Miguel Rojas.

Utility man Chone Figgins, who went into camp on a minor league contract, made the team. Outfielder Mike Baxter also claimed a spot on the bench.

The team also included starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu; catcher A.J. Ellis; infielders Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe, and outfielders Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke.

Matt Kemp, Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley were officially placed on the disabled list. According to league rules, the earliest they could be activated would be April 4.

Close call

The start of the series opener Saturday night was delayed 14 minutes because of the threat of rain. Nearby thunder and lightning cut short the Dodgers' batting practice session and prompted the field crew to place a tarp over the field.

Next: South Korea?

Hyun-Jin Ryu said he would one day like to open a major league season in his native South Korea.


"I think it's a fantastic idea," Ryu said through interpreter Martin Kim. "It's a personal wish."

Selig said Major League Baseball has some potential foreign countries in mind for future opening days, but wouldn't say which ones.

Short debut

Guerrero made his major league debut in the first game of the series, when he was introduced as a ninth-inning pinch-hitter for Wilson, who pitched the eighth inning. But Guerrero didn't get the chance to hit.

Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson called on right-hander J.J. Putz to replace left-hander Oliver Perez and face the right-handed-hitting Guerrero. Mattingly countered by sending the left-handed-hitting Baxter to bat instead of Guerrero.

Short hops

Kemp is expected to meet the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Thursday. . . . Crawford's fiancee gave birth to a boy. The child is Crawford's third.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez