Dodgers carry fewer pitchers on the roster for the best-of-three wild card round
The Dodgers announced their roster for the wild card round against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday hours ahead of Game 1 and it included a few changes from how they finished the regular season.
Outfielder and pinch-running specialist Terrance Gore, infielder Matt Beaty and catcher Keibert Ruiz were included in the 28-man group. Left-handed pitcher Alex Wood, right-handed pitcher Dylan Floro and second baseman Gavin Lux, the organization’s top prospect entering the season, were left off.
The team will carry 13 pitchers, fewer than they did during regular season and fewer than they would in the following rounds when the series is longer and pitching depth is more necessary.
Lux’s exclusion represents a detour in the Dodgers’ plans. The club envisioned the 22-year-old as their everyday second baseman once he joined the major league team in late August. But he was overwhelmed at the plate, to the point that the Dodgers decided he would only start against right-handed pitchers. By Wednesday, after the struggles continued through the end of the regular season, they had decided he didn’t warrant a roster spot.
This might be the last Dodgers season for Justin Turner, whose unlikely rise from fringe player to Dodgers icon made him a fan favorite. He wants a championship.
Wood began the season in the starting rotation but landed on the injured list with shoulder inflammation after his first start and returned as a reliever five weeks later. He wasn’t effective in the role, allowing eight runs (six earned) in eight outings, which included a two-inning start as an opener.
Floro is the most surprising omission. He allowed seven runs in 24 1/3 innings this season — and three of the runs came in one outing. He didn’t allow a baserunner in 2 1/3 innings over his final three appearances.
Even though the regular-season rule that had extra innings begin with a runner on second is not in force during the playoffs, Gore is on the roster strictly as a pinch-runner. The 29-year-old speedster has 77 career plate appearances in seven major league seasons. He has nine career playoff games on his résumé, but just two at-bats. He struck out both times. He has five steals and was caught once.
Ruiz, one of six rookies on the roster, will serve as the team’s third catcher. His inclusion will give the Dodgers a safety net in Game 2 when they are expected to have Austin Barnes catch Clayton Kershaw and Will Smith start as the designated hitter. Ruiz, 22, homered in his major league debut this season and appeared in two games.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is criticized on social media for his decisions, but he deals with the vitriol with a smile and an abundance of optimism.
Beaty, 27, is on the playoff roster for the second straight year. He was on the team’s opening day roster but was optioned in early September and was never called back up. He batted .220 with a .638 OPS in 54 plate appearances. He provides insurance at third base should Justin Turner’s left hamstring injury resurface.
Dodgers wild card round roster (28)
RHP Pedro Baéz
RHP Walker Buehler
RHP Tony Gonsolin
LHP Victor González
RHP Brusdar Graterol
RHP Kenley Jansen
RHP Joe Kelly
LHP Clayton Kershaw
LHP Adam Kolarek
RHP Dustin May
LHP Jake McGee
RHP Blake Treinen
LHP Julio Urías
POSITION PLAYERS (15)
C Austin Barnes
IF Matt Beaty (L)
1B/OF Cody Bellinger (L)
OF Mookie Betts
OF Terrance Gore
IF/OF Kiké Hernández
IF Max Muncy (L)
OF Joc Pederson (L)
OF AJ Pollock
IF Edwin Ríos (L)
C Keibert Ruiz (S)
SS Corey Seager (L)
C Will Smith
IF/OF Chris Taylor
3B Justin Turner
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