Projected Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day Roster For 2023

The 2023 Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster is essentially set, as the remaining questions were sorted out before the team wrapped up Cactus League play last week.

The Dodgers broke camp with a number of last-minute confirmations for their roster with James Outman earning a spot in the outfield and Andre Jackson locking down the final opening in the bullpen.

This season also is going to see a new approach for the Dodgers with J.D. Martinez signed to be the club’s full-time designated hitter.

Martinez signed with the Dodgers on a one-year, $10 million contract to reunite with hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc and to provide the team with one of the more advanced offensive minds. Last season the club filled the DH spot with a platoon advantage bat and Justin Turner.

With Martinez, the Dodgers have their presumed everyday DH who’s capable of anchoring an offense when clicking on all cylinders. After a slow start to the spring, he’s looked much better in recent opportunities at the plate.

After Gavin Lux suffered a season-ending torn ACL and LCL in his right knee, the opportunity for another position player opened up. Although it was not a requirement, the Dodger were looking at needing to replace an expected left-handed bat that was going to make an impact.

The decision ultimately boiled down to going with Jason Heyward and Outman over the likes of Steven Duggar, Luke Williams, Bradley Zimmer and Yonny Hernández.

Lux’s absence for the entirety of the season meant that Miguel Rojas, who the Dodgers inked to a fresh multi-year contract prior to Spring Training, would see a role change and become the starting shortstop. The domino effect of Lux’s injury also created a cloud of pressure with the thinning depth among Dodgers infielders.

The Dodgers front office banked on the athleticism of rookie Miguel Vargas to adapt to his new role as the starting second baseman, and by all accounts the offseason work he put in paid dividends.

As Max Muncy heads into his sixth season with the team, he’ll be manning third base without Turner to rotate in due to his signing with the Boston Red Sox. Muncy is poised to have a more productive season than in 2022 as he’ll be another year removed from the late-season injury to his left elbow.

Health amongst Dodgers infielders will be an ongoing conversation as the year goes on and it wouldn’t be out of the question for them to seek additional depth at the trade deadline.

To open the season, teams are permitted to carry no more than 13 pitchers on the roster. After Julio Urías, Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard, the battle for the fifth and final spot came down to Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove.

Pepiot and Grove looked equally as worthy of the nod, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said there was no wrong with either of them. The Dodgers ultimately went with Pepiot, who fills in for Tony Gonsolin as he remains on the mend from a sprained left ankle.

In the bullpen, Jackson earns the final spot after being one of the darlings of Spring Training. Although he’s traditionally been a starter, Jackson is on the Dodgers roster to provide them with a long man out of the bullpen.

Projected Dodgers Opening Day roster for 2023

Starting pitchers (5): Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Noah Syndergaard, Ryan Pepiot, Julio Urías

Relief pitchers (8): Yency Almonte, Phil Bickford, Caleb Ferguson, Brusdar Graterol, Andre Jackson, Shelby Miller, Evan Phillips, Alex Vesia,

Catchers (2): Austin Barnes, Will Smith

Infielders (4): Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, Miguel Rojas, Miguel Vargas

Outfielders (5): Mookie Betts, Jason Heyward, James Outman, David Peralta, Trayce Thompson

Infielders/Outfielders (1): Chris Taylor

Designated hitter (1): J.D. Martinez

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