The Los Angeles Dodgers held their first workout for the 2019 National League Division Series, and though manager Dave Roberts has already set his starting rotation and 25-man roster, he declined to reveal specifics.
Roberts did, however, tip his hand in some cases. Joe Kelly threw a bullpen session Tuesday and is on track to make the Dodgers’ NLDS roster after being plagued by an unspecified injury. “I think it was a 20-pitch ‘pen, I saw it from afar, and it was fastball, curveball, changeup,” Roberts said.
“I got the thumbs up from him. I didn’t have a conversation, I saw it come out of the hand — it was good, the effort was there. He’ll be ready to go on Thursday in whatever role.”
In later discussing the contributions Dodgers received from their rookies throughout the season, Roberts somewhat inadvertently tipped his hand in revealing Matt Beaty and Gavin Lux, along with slightly more expected Will Smith, were among the 25-players selected for the NLDS.
“We’ve got a catcher who got called up in the middle of the year and had an apprenticeship last September, and he’s going to catch a postseason game,” Roberts said. “That doesn’t happen very often. It’s a trust we have in Will and credit to the guys in the room who have made him feel comfortable.
“Gavin Lux, this is a guy that’s going to be on our roster and he’s going to play. He’s earned it. I like his head, the athleticism. Again, it’s kind of in the Will Smith bucket as far as how to go out there and play and be himself.
“Beaty hasn’t had a lot of opportunities; I’m kind of talking through the roster a little bit but. But it’s a great group.”
Smith has long figured to have the inside track to starting in the postseason even with his regression at the plate. So too did Beaty, who went through a bit of a mini slump.
Lux’s arrival this season was presumed to be as a September call-up once active rosters expand. The Dodgers additionally discussed the possibility of having him join the team but in an unofficial capacity.
However, Max Muncy’s wrist fracture and Lux’s strong play with Triple-A Oklahoma City, led to the organization’s top prospect receiving a fair share of opportunities to start against right-handed pitchers.
Also among the veterans, Roberts asserted Justin Turner is fully recovered from a previously sprained left ankle and is continuing to overcome back trouble.
The Dodgers finalized their roster decisions independent of the outcome of the NL Wild Card Game between the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers.