Dodgers Opening Day Roster: Andre Jackson Earns Final Bullpen Spot

The few questions for spots on the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster had steadily been answered over recent weeks and final clarity was reached during the last few days at Camelback Ranch.

It began Thursday, with manager Dave Roberts announcing James Outman earned a spot on the Dodgers Opening Day roster. Roberts additionally confirmed Jason Heyward — who had emerged as an early favorite among non-roster invitees — would be with the club to start the 2023 season as well.

Then after Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Dodgers optioned Victor González and Michael Grove to Minor League camp.

That amounted to Ryan Pepiot being the fifth starter in the Opening Day rotation and Andre Jackson securing a bullpen spot, according to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

Andre Jackson, meanwhile, will round out the Dodgers bullpen as the long reliever, beating out other relief candidates such as Victor González, who was also optioned on Friday.

Although Jackson traditionally is a starter, he has exclusively pitched out of the bullpen this spring. Jackson turned in a combined six scoreless innings through his first three appearances, then allowed two runs (one earned) to the San Francisco Giants on March 21.

He finished spring with 10 innings pitched across five appearances, giving up two earned runs while striking out 10.

Jackson made his MLB debut with the Dodgers during the 2021 season, pitching three games out of the bullpen. He was up with the club for four games last year and each of those were as a reliever as well.

Carrying Jackson on the roster gives the Dodgers a long man out of the bullpen should any of their starters need another turn or two through the rotation to continue stretching out.

Dodgers relief pitchers on Opening Day roster

Because of MLB roster limits, the Dodgers have a 13-man pitching staff that is comprised of eight relievers.

Along with Jackson, the group includes Yency Almonte, Phil Bickford, Caleb Ferguson, Brusdar Graterol, Shelby Miller, Evan Phillips and Alex Vesia.

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