The Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster for the 2023 season is all but official, and one key question was answered on Thursday when manager Dave Roberts announced James Outman will break camp with the team.
The 25-year-old was in the running for the final position player spot, along with the likes of Steven Duggar, Luke Williams and Bradley Zimmer. The opportunity was created when Gavin Lux suffered a season-ending torn ACL and LCL in his right knee.
Outman is a highly regarded prospect who appeared in only four games with the Dodgers last season. Despite his limited opportunities, Outman had a historic MLB debut against the Colorado Rockies in which he went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBI.
Outman described his emotions after learning he would make the Dodgers Opening Day roster and still can’t believe it’s a reality, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“I was expecting to cry or something, but I didn’t,” Outman said with a smile before the Dodgers’ 11-5 loss to the D-backs. “I was kind of like ‘Whoa.’ It was pretty surreal. Kind of felt like a dream, like did that really just happen?”
While Outman will be part of the Dodgers’ initial roster for the 2023 season, he is not expected to play everyday.
Mookie Betts and Trayce Thompson figure to receive the majority of opportunities in right field and center field, respectively, while left field will be a platoon between David Peralta and Chris Taylor.
Roberts also confirmed non-roster invitee Jason Heyward will be included on the Dodgers Opening Day roster and is another left-handed hitting outfielder who could push for playing time.
Why James Outman keeps pet rock in locker
Sitting atop Outman’s locker is a rock with a face drawn onto it in black Sharpie. The idea was suggested by one of Outman’s teammates in Triple-A Oklahoma City, and he now keeps it around to bring him good luck.
“He said it’s going to bring you hits,” Outman recalled of the message from his teammate. “So I was like, ‘Alright, let’s do it.’ And ever since then it’s just kind of been in the locker.”
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