Opening day rosters for Major League Baseball need to be sent to the league office by 2 p.m., but the Los Angeles Dodgers all but officially finalized their 25-man roster on Tuesday night after their Freeway Series contest with the Los Angeles Angels. The final two spots up for grabs went to infielder Justin Sellers and relief pitcher Josh Lindblom.
Sellers beat out non-roster invitees Josh Fields and Luis Cruz for the final bench spot, as the Dodgers went with the defensive versatility of Sellers, who can play shortstop, second base, and third base. With a bench of Tony Gwynn Jr., Jerry Hairston Jr., Adam Kennedy, Matt Treanor, and Sellers, the Dodgers lack a right-handed power threat in reserve, though that is expected to be Jerry Sands at some point. Sands will start the season in Triple A.
"You can certainly have the right-hand power off the bench, but do you have the same defensive flexibility? The roster can change every day," said general manager Ned Colletti.
Lindblom beat out non-roster invitee Scott Rice, a lefty. The Dodgers will go open the season with one southpaw, Scott Elbert, in their bullpen. "Josh has pitched as well as anyone in camp," manager Don Mattingly said.
On the first day of spring training, Mattingly was asked if he preferred two left-handers in the bullpen, and he answered "I prefer to have the best arms," and it appears he stuck to his guns.
The Dodgers open the year with and eight-man bullpen, as starter Ted Lilly will open the season on the disabled list. Lilly missed two spring starts with a stiff neck and though he feels better now he needs time to build up his arm strength and stamina. Lilly will pitch in a rehab game with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, then could start for the Dodgers as soon as April 14, their ninth game of the year.
The Dodgers have an off day on Monday, April 9 that allows them the opportunity to use just four starters for their first eight games of the season. The Dodgers begin their regular season on Thursday afternoon at Petco Park in San Diego against the Padres.
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