Dodgers roster and schedule
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers roster and schedule for 2020 season

Leave a comment

The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Los Angeles Dodgers roster and schedule:

DODGERS ROSTER (projected)

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

RELATED: Mookie Betts to sign ‘massive’ extension

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Dodgers roster to begin the season:

Catchers:

Will Smith
Austin Barnes

Infielders:

Max Muncy
Kiké Hernández
Corey Seager
Justin Turner
Matt Beaty
Edwin Rios

Outfielders:

Cody Bellinger
Mookie Betts
Joc Pederson
AJ Pollock
Chris Taylor

Starters:

Clayton Kershaw
Walker Buehler
Julio Urías
Alex Wood
Ross Stripling

Relievers:

Kenley Jansen
Blake Treinen
Pedro Báez
Joe Kelly
Brusdar Graterol
Dustin May
Scott Alexander
Caleb Ferguson
Adam Kolarek


BREAKDOWN:

The Dodgers are expected to be the class of the National League, if not all of baseball, and seem like a lock to reach the postseason for an eighth consecutive season. The club had very little roster turnover and added perennial MVP candidate Mookie Betts to the mix. Last season, the Dodgers ranked fifth in batting average, second in on-base percentage, and first in slugging percentage and OPS. Adding Betts to a cast that includes reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, and Corey Seager is just ridiculous.

Clayton Kershaw, entering his 13th season, will lead the rotation and get the Opening Day nod against Johnny Cueto and the Giants. Kershaw has been mostly healthy, but hasn’t crossed the 30-start threshold since 2015. He obviously won’t this year, either. When he has been on the mound, he has been effective. In 2019, Kershaw went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks over 178 1/3 innings. Walker Buehler, in the No. 2 spot, has quickly established himself as one of the game’s best starters and has the potential to challenge the likes of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom for the NL Cy Young Award.

The Nos. 3-5 spots in the rotation are a little more iffy for the Dodgers and represents the club’s biggest weakness, which is not to say it’s that much of a weakness. Julio Urías will move to the middle of the rotation. He was quite good last year, finishing with a 2.49 ERA over 79 2/3 innings split across eight starts and 31 relief appearances. Alex Wood, who missed most of 2019 with the Reds due to back problems, returned to the Dodgers. When he’s healthy, he can be great, such as 2017 when he went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA in 152 1/3 innings. The “when he’s healthy” clause is big, though. Ross Stripling will handle the No. 5 spot and could be bandied back and forth between there and the bullpen as needed.

Kenley Jansen will once again handle the ninth inning for the Dodgers. Despite a recent uptick in ERA, no doubt due to his heart ailment, he remains one of the game’s better closers. Last season, Jansen closed out 31 games with a 3.71 ERA and an 80/16 K/BB ratio in 63 innings. He’ll be backed up by Blake Treinen, Pedro Báez, and Joe Kelly. And don’t forget about Brusdar Graterol. In 9 2/3 innings in the majors after debuting with the Twins last season, the right-hander struck out 10 and walked two.

DODGERS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

  • July 23-26: vs. Giants
  • July 28-29: @ Astros
  • July 30-August 2: @ Diamondbacks
  • August 3-5: @ Padres
  • August 7-9: vs. Giants
  • August 10-13: vs. Padres
  • August 14-16: @ Angels
  • August 17-18: vs. Mariners
  • August 19-20: @ Mariners
  • August 21-23: vs. Rockies
  • August 25-27: @ Giants
  • August 28-30: @ Rangers
  • September 1-3: vs. Diamondbacks
  • September 4-6: vs. Rockies
  • September 8-10: @ Diamondbacks
  • September 12-13: vs. Astros
  • September 14-16: @ Padres
  • September 17-20: @ Rockies
  • September 22-24: vs. Athletics
  • September 25-27: vs. Angels

The entire Dodgers schedule can be seen here.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”