Friday, October 11, 2013

Dodgers set 25-man roster for the NLCS

The Dodgers waited until Friday afternoon to officially announce their 25-man roster for the NLCS, and here it is:

Starting Rotation
Clayton Kershaw
Zack Greinke
Hyun-Jin Ryu
Ricky Nolasco

Kenley Jansen
Brian Wilson
Ronald Belisario
J.P. Howell
Chris Withrow
Carlos Marmol
Edinson Volquez (long relief)

A.J. Ellis
Tim Federowicz

Adrian Gonzalez
Mark Ellis
Hanley Ramirez
Juan Uribe
Michael Young
Dee Gordon

Carl Crawford
Andre Ethier
Yasiel Puig
Scott Van Slyke

Skip Schumaker
Nick Punto

Analysis: A couple of changes have been made from the previous round.  Out are Paco Rodriguez and Chris Capuano, in are Marmol and Volquez.  Still missing are Brandon League and Jerry Hairston.

Removing Rodriguez is not a surprise, as he was knocked around down the stretch, as well as by Jason Heyward.  So much for getting the lefties out.  Capuano pitched three scoreless innings in Game 3 against the Braves, but wasn't very effective against the Cardinals this season, and still is just a so-so option.  Maybe Volquez has something left in him.

Only keeping one lefty in the bullpen is a bit of a risk, but one worth taking.  As we saw in the Game 2 loss, matching left vs. left and right vs. right isn't guaranteed to work, so I'd much rather just have the best pitcher in regardless of which side of the rubber he throws from.  Besides, if the Dodgers insist on using another lefty in the later innings, maybe Ryu can do the job.

Someone who may find his way back into the starting lineup, or at least getting much more playing time, is Ethier.  His ankle isn't 100%, but supposedly much better than last round.  Even with a bit of uncertainty, however, the Dodgers decided to keep Van Slyke around to play the outfield just in case, and Gordon to pinch-run.

Other than potentially starting Ethier in center for Schumaker, I wouldn't expect to see any changes to the starting lineup, as Don Mattingly used the exact same one in all four Division Series games.  With Uribe playing very well and Ramirez avoiding injuries for now, Young and Punto will play backup roles.  We know Greinke and Kershaw will go the first couple of game, with Ryu and Nolasco candidates for Game 3.

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