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Brock Stewart gets final spot on Dodgers' opening day roster

Los Angeles Times sportswriter Jorge Castillo and sports columnist Bill Plaschke discuss the 2019 Dodgers season and the team's chances of returning to the World Series.

A few hours before they took the field at Dodger Stadium to begin the 2019 season against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers on Thursday morning announced their opening day roster — and Brock Stewart is on it.

Stewart will occupy the only vacancy that had been up for grabs over the final few days of spring training. The right-hander will begin the season serving as a long man in the Dodgers’ bullpen. He beat out Dennis Santana for the job.

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“Brock obviously has a history at this level, has had some success,” Dpdgers manager Dave Roberts said. “If an inning does get long, I feel much more comfortable extending Brock 25, 30, 35 pitches, if it does get to that point — let alone talk about multiple innings.”

The Dodgers wanted someone who could pitch multiple innings in that spot because Julio Urias and Walker Buehler, two-fifths of the starting rotation, will be limited in the early going.

Buehler is scheduled to start Sunday against the Diamondbacks. He last took the mound Monday for a simulated game at Angel Stadium, where he pitched four innings. His spring training was disrupted early by an ailment the Dodgers have declined to specify.

Urias logged four perfect innings in the final game of the preseason Freeway Series on Wednesday. The Dodgers will practice caution with the left-hander, who underwent shoulder surgery less than two years ago. He’s likely to make just one start before going to the bullpen.

Stewart, 27, allowed 12 earned runs in nine outings with the Dodgers last season. He made seven of those appearances as a reliever. He owns a 4.84 career earned-run average in 80 major-league innings.

Here is the Dodgers’ 25-man roster:

PITCHERS

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Ross Stripling

Kenta Maeda

Walker Buehler

Julio Urias

Brock Stewart

Yimi Garcia

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Dylan Floro

Scott Alexander

Caleb Ferguson

Pedro Baez

Joe Kelly

Kenley Jansen

CATCHERS

Austin Barnes

Russell Martin

INFIELDERS

Max Muncy

David Freese

Enrique Hernandez

Corey Seager

Justin Turner

Chris Taylor

OUTFIELDERS

Cody Bellinger

A.J. Pollock

Joc Pederson

Alex Verdugo

INJURED LIST

LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-day, left shoulder inflammation)

LHP Rich Hill (10-day, left knee sprain)

LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder impingement)

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