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Dodgers Opening Day Roster Nearly Finalized

Opening day rosters don't need to be finalized until Thursday, but the Los Angeles Dodgers' 25-man roster is pretty much set. The Dodgers will open with four players on the disabled list -- catcher Dioner Navarro (strained oblique), third baseman Casey Blake (back injury), and pitchers Jon Garland (oblique strain) and Vicente Padilla (arm surgery) -- though all four are expected back at various points in April.

The Dodgers have two off days in the first week of the season, and they won't use a fifth starter. Tim Redding appears to have beaten John Ely for the fifth starter spot, as manager Don Mattingly said he was lining up Redding to start April 10, the final game of a three-game series in San Diego against the Padres. However, Redding will begin the season in the minor leagues before having his contract purchased for that start on April 10.

As for the opening day roster, the final bullpen spot looks like it's between Scott Elbert and non-roster invitee Lance Cormier, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

Meanwhile, the final bullpen spot will apparently go to left-hander Scott Elbert, with one caveat. Lance Cormier, the only other contender after Ramon Troncoso was optioned to Minor League camp Sunday morning, was asked to accept a Minor League assignment, but he said he told the club he would not.

Cormier has an out in his contract starting Sunday, but he said he was not yet a free agent and that "the ball is in their court."

On Friday, True Blue LA took a guess at the opening day roster, and it appears that, barring a setback, this will be the final 25 on Thursday night as the Dodgers open at home against the San Francisco Giants:

  • Starting Pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda
  • Relief Pitchers (7): Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, Blake Hawksworth, Scott Elbert, Mike MacDougal*
  • Catchers (2): Rod Barajas, Hector Gimenez
  • Infielders (6): James Loney, Jamey Carroll, Rafael Furcal, Juan Uribe, Aaron Miles*, Ivan DeJesus
  • Outfielders (6): Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Marcus Thames, Jay Gibbons, Tony Gwynn Jr., Xavier Paul

*Non-roster invitees

DeJesus will stay around, primarily playing second base, until Blake is activated from the disabled list. Uribe will open the season at third base, and move to second once Blake returns. The Dodgers will have to make another roster move on April 10 to accommodate either Redding or Ely to start.

As of the end of their game on Sunday, the Dodgers still technically have 36 players in big league camp, so several cuts will be made over the next few days.

For more Dodgers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.