Heading into Spring Training there didn’t appear to be many questions regarding the outlook of the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster for the 2023 season. Particularly after manager Dave Roberts acknowledged early into camp that Jason Heyward had a lead over other non-roster invitees.
However, Gavin Lux’s ACL injury has created an opening on the position player side, and the likes of Yonny Hernández, James Outman and Luke Williams are among those competing to fill the void.
While each has performed admirably, Outman has stood out. He’s batting .400/.480/.800 with one triple, two home runs and six RBI over 10 Cactus League games.
Although Roberts acknowledged the 25-year-old prospect is capable of playing at the Major League level, he intimated Outman might not make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster, per Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“Is he big-league ready? I would say he is,” Roberts said. “How we shake out, that’s a different question. But yeah, he’s doing everything he can do.”
With Chris Taylor expected to play more infield than originally planned, and Mookie Betts due to make starts at second base, the Dodgers have a need of sorts in their outfield.
However, if Outman makes their Opening Day roster, it’s not believed he would be an everyday starter. Thus, the organization could decide it’s more valuable for Outman to start on a regular basis with Triple-A Oklahoma City and be among the first players called up if and when needed.
Outman had a historic MLB debut but only appeared in four games for the Dodgers last season. He hit safely in three of those but reached in all four.
James Outman not worrying about Dodgers Opening Day roster
During a recent interview with DodgerBlue.com, the versatile outfielder said he simultaneously was focused on moving on from last year and keeping a daily focus rather than be consumed by possibly making the Opening Day roster with the Dodgers.
“I know there’s an opportunity there, but focusing on that is not going to get me to where I want to be,” Outman said. “So I’m just trying to stay present and get better with what I do every day.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!