In a critical five-game NLDS series, the Los Angeles Dodgers are grappling with the challenge of selecting their pitching roster. Despite facing setbacks with injuries and legal issues in their starting rotation, the team still boasts an abundance of pitching talent within the organization. However, some talented pitchers will inevitably be left off the NLDS roster as difficult decisions loom.
Andrew Friedman, speaking to the media after Wednesday’s workout session, stressed the complexity of their pitching choices. The workout was a unique opportunity for select season-ticket holders to get a glimpse of the team’s preparations. Friedman, alongside manager Dave Roberts, acknowledged that informed decisions couldn’t be made until they knew which team the Dodgers would face in the NLDS. As of Wednesday, the Arizona Diamondbacks had completed a remarkable sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, setting the stage for a formidable showdown.
“We’re still having a lot of internal conversations about it,” Friedman said. “No matter how it shakes out we’re going to have a really talented pitching staff. There’s going to be tough decisions and probably some really talented pitchers that won’t make this roster. And I think it just speaks to the depth, the number of guys who really stepped up this year.
“We may have to approach it in a more unconventional way, but our talent and depth that we have, we feel really good about.”
Considering the Diamondbacks’ lineup, which lacks left-handed power hitters, the Dodgers are contemplating the possibility of excluding either Alex Vesia or Caleb Ferguson from the series. Furthermore, it appears unnecessary to carry three long relievers in the bullpen, potentially leading to the omission of both Michael Grove and Gavin Stone from the roster. It’s worth noting that Dodgers’ fans should keep in mind the flexibility to reset the roster for the NLCS and the World Series, providing some leeway for adjustments.
Dave Roberts, addressing reporters on Thursday, emphasized that the team would not rush its final pitching decisions. Instead, they plan to make the crucial determinations early on Saturday, keeping fans and analysts alike in suspense as they navigate the complexities of their pitching choices for the NLDS. The Dodgers understand the importance of making the right moves to secure their postseason success.
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