The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a pair of key relievers this past offseason as setup man Brandon Morrow signed with the Chicago Cubs and another late-inning option in Tony Watson inked a deal with the division-rival San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers only made one Major League signing to replace the loss of those arms during the winter, adding veteran right-hander Tom Koehler to the mix. Koehler recently went down with a shoulder injury that could keep him out an extended period of time.
In turn, manager Dave Roberts believes the bullpen situation to begin the season is a little more unknown than it previously was. “I think losing Tommy Koehler opened things up and it created some opportunities. To be quite honest, it’s a little more fuzzy,” Roberts said.
“It’s a good thing as far as opportunities; we’ve got time to continue to evaluate. Whether we carry seven or carry eight (relievers), there’s some opportunities for guys to step up and pitch well.”
Roberts had previously stated that the plan was to carry eight relievers to begin the season, although with as many position players performing as well as they have this spring, it’s clear the club is weighing all options.
Roberts has named Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, Tony Cingrani, Kenley Jansen and Ross Stripling as locks to make the Opening Day roster, and with Josh Fields likely in the mix, that only leaves one or two spots left up for grabs.
Among the candidates to fill those are J.T. Chargois, Justin De Fratus, Wilmer Font, Adam Liberatore and Pat Venditte.
Aside from Font and Liberatore, they have all pitched well this spring and could be worthy of roster spots. Font is out of Minor League options, so if the Dodgers want to ensure keeping him in the organization then he must be on the 25-man roster to begin the season.