The Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster is all but set with manager Dave Roberts naming Dustin May the team’s fifth starter and announcing Zach McKinstry earned the final bench spot.
“The last piece of our 26-man roster is that last bullpen piece,” Roberts said. The Dodgers were deciding between Scott Alexander and Dennis Santana. One was to be added to somewhat of an unconventional bullpen that will feature career starters Tony Gonsolin, David Price and Jimmy Nelson.
While the bullpen was a fallback option for whoever didn’t make the rotation from Gonsolin, May and Price, Alexander or Santana were to be left off the active roster if not named to the bullpen. However, the relief pitcher left off will be included on the taxi squad for the Dodgers’ seven-game road trip to begin the season.
According to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers opted for Alexander over Santana:
Dennis Santana won't be on the #Dodgers' opening day roster, per source. The final bullpen spot goes to Scott Alexander.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) March 30, 2021
Alexander finished out Monday’s win over the L.A. Angels, largely giving up only soft contact but a run along the way. “Scottie pitched tonight, threw the ball well,” Roberts said after the victory.
Santana is due to pitch in the Freeway Series finale, though that final Spring Training appearance wasn’t necessarily being viewed as a deciding factor.
“I don’t think it’s all necessarily on Spring Training history. It’s kind of all of it put together and who we feel best about breaking with us on Opening Day,” Roberts explained. “So Dennis is going to pitch, but it’s not necessarily a tryout anymore.
“We’ve got to make a decision as an organization.”
Alexander is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA in eight spring games, and Santana enters play Tuesday with a 4.32 ERA in eight appearances as well.
Dodgers bullpen outlook
As it currently stands, the Dodgers’ bullpen come Opening Day is expected to be comprised of Alexander, Gonsolin, Victor Gonzalez, Kenley Jansen, Corey Knebel, Nelson, Price and Blake Treinen.
Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly are both beginning the season on the 10-day injured list.
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