Feb 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws the ball during the first day of camp at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting The Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day Lineup And 25 Man Roster


 

We’re exactly a month away from Clayton Kershaw throwing the first pitch of the 2014 MLB season. That means it’s time for us at LA Sports Hub to get you prepared for the 2014 MLB season. With that said let’s go ahead and predict the Opening Day lineup and also take a stab at the 25 man roster.

Opening Day Lineup

1 – Yasiel Puig RF

2- Carl Crawford LF

3- Adrian Gonzalez 1B

4- Hanley Ramirez SS

5- Andre Ethier CF

6 – Juan Uribe 3B

7 – Alexander Guerrero 2B

8 – A.J. Ellis C

9 – Clayton Kershaw SP

This isn’t too difficult to predict. Matt Kemp, the Dodgers CF, probably won’t be ready for Opening Day, which means that Andre Ethier will continue to play CF like he did last year. Yasiel Puig could end up hitting second if Don Mattingly decides he would rather lead off with Carl Crawford. The only other question for the Dodgers is who will be the starting second baseman come Opening Day. Mattingly has openly discussed implementing a platoon system and that may come to fruition; however, for now we’re going to peg rookie Alexander Guerrero into that position.

Now it’s time to predict the Dodgers Opening Day 25-man roster.

Starting Pitchers

October 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) pitches the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game five of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

1 – Clayton Kershaw

2 – Zack Greinke

3 – Hyun-jin Ryu

4 – Dan Haren

5 – Stephen Fife

There’s quite a few questions about who will be the Dodgers 5th starter come opening day. Paul Maholm was originally slated to be the 5th starter assuming Josh Beckett wasn’t able to go; however, Maholm’s shoulder has been bothering him in camp and I’m not sure he’ll be on the roster come Opening Day. Beckett is unlikely to be able to go come March 22nd and will likely start the season on the DL. Chad Billinglsey will definitely begin the season on the DL. That means the Fife, who was productive for the Dodgers last season, will get the nod.

Relief Pitchers

RP – Chris Withrow

RP – Paco Rodriguez

RP – Chris Perez

RP – J.P. Howell

RP – Jamey Wright

Set-Up – Brian Wilson

Closer – Kenley Jansen

The Dodgers certainly aren’t short on relief pitching. All of the relievers above are near locks to make the Opening Day roster, barring injury. However, this roster of relievers leaves some very talented pitchers high and dry. If my prediction becomes reality Brandon League, Jose Dominguez, Javy Guerra and others won’t be on the MLB roster.

October 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) reaches first after hitting a single in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game five of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Lineup

C – A.J. Ellis

1B – Adrian Gonzalez

2B – Alexander Guerrero

SS – Hanley Ramirez

3B – Juan Uribe

LF – Carl Crawford

CF – Andre Ethier

RF – PUIGGGGGGG!!!

Nothing to see here. Assuming Matt Kemp isn’t able to play on Opening Day this is lineup is pretty much locked up.

Bench

OF – Matt Kemp

OF – Scott Van Slyke

INF – Dee Gordon

INF – Justin Turner

C – Tim Federowicz

Aug 11, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon (9) throws to first base during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s where things get interesting and where Don Mattingly, Ned Colletti and Stan Kasten will have the most trouble. There’s only 5 spots remaining on the roster when it comes time to decide the bench situation. There are about 7-8 deserving players. Here’s my thinking: Matt Kemp looks like he won’t be ready for Opening Day; however, it looks like he may be ready for the Dodgers first game in the U.S. this season, which is scheduled for March 30th in San Diego. If that’s the working plan, the Dodgers aren’t going to put Kemp on the DL and will keep him on the 25-man roster. That leaves four spots.

Federowicz is a lock for one of the spots because every team needs a second catcher on the roster. Now we’re down to three. The Dodgers are going to need a second outfielder off the bench in case Kemp isn’t ready to go, especially in Australia. The only logical candidate for that job is The Stache, aka Scott Van Stache, aka Scott Van Slyke.

Now we’re down to two spots. The Dodgers are going to have to decide on three infielders for two spots. Dee Gordon has apparently bulked up in the offseason and brings a valuable tool to the table: Speed. He’s going to make the Opening Day roster. Now we’re down to one. The final spot will come down to a battle between Justin Turner and Chone Figgins, who were both brought in this offseason. Figgins has more big league experience and can play both infield and outfield. Turner, who last played with the Mets, is the younger of the two and is a better defender. While I like the idea of taking a flyer on Figgins after his struggles in Seattle, I believe it will be Turner who wins the job.

There you have it! Your 2014 Dodgers Opening Day Roster!

Tags: 2014 Clayton Kershaw Lineup Matt Kemp MLB Roster

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