The Dodgers have announced their 25-man NLDS roster, which will kick off with Walker Buehler facing Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin in Los Angeles tonight. They’ll carry a total of 12 pitchers and 13 position players. Here’s the full breakdown:
- Pedro Baez
- Walker Buehler (Game 1 starter)
- Kenley Jansen
- Joe Kelly
- Kenta Maeda
- Dustin May
- Ross Stripling
With the Dodgers more than perhaps any other team, the classification of “infielders” and “outfielders” is somewhat subjective. The Los Angeles organization has compiled an enviable collection of defensively versatile players, leaving manager Dave Roberts ample opportunity for creative lineup construction and in-game maneuvers. Each of Hernandez, Bellinger and Taylor, in particular, could be utilized in the infield or in the outfield — with Taylor and Hernandez both capable of playing nearly any spot on the roster.
Smith’s emergence as the team’s primary option behind the plate, paired with the veteran Martin’s still-excellent defensive skills, pushed Opening Day catcher Austin Barnes off the postseason roster. Martin is set to become a free agent at season’s end, meaning Barnes could be back in the fold as a backup option to Smith next year, but Smith’s .253/.337/.571 batting line and 15 home runs through his first 196 big league plate appearances point to him being the top option moving forward.
On the pitching side of the coin, the omission of impressive rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin will come as a surprise to some. The 25-year-old debuted with great success this past season, pitching a total of 40 innings with a 2.93 ERA and a 37-to-15 K/BB ratio. But the Dodgers opted to carry May, another impressive rookie, and the veteran swingman Stripling to round out their collection of right-handed arms.
Kolarek, meanwhile, was an under-the-radar deadline pickup who thrived in a brief sample with the Dodgers. The former Tampa Bay Ray allowed just a run on nine hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings with the Dodgers, but even beyond that 0.77 ERA, the most eye-catching number he posted was a ridiculous 73.5 percent ground-ball rate as a Dodger. In all, he’s totaled 55 innings in the Majors this year and compiled a 3.27 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 66.3 percent grounder rate while holding opposing lefties to a pathetic .178/.221/.262 batting line.