SAN DIEGO – "It's Time for Dodgers Baseball." The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to take the field today as they open their 2016 MLB campaign against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
On Sunday, the team announced their Opening Day 25-man roster and suffice it to say, there were a few surprises on the list.
The usual faces (last year's starters) are on the list, as are the new free agent signings. However, with a handful of players on the disabled list to start the season, the Dodgers front office and manager Dave "Doc" Roberts had plenty of decisions to make before the Opening Series.
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Surprise additions to the Opening Day team are reliever Louis Coleman who was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals in the spring. The move meant that veteran left-hander, Luis Avilan, was sent down to the minors. Avilan was traded to the Dodgers last season with Alex Wood, Bronson Arroyo, Jim Johnson and Jose Peraza. In exchange, Atlanta received third baseman Hector Olivera and pitcher Paco Rodriguez.
"Louis Coleman has thrown the ball really well, and for Luis it's good to go down and get left-handers out," Roberts told the media. "I expect him to throw big innings for us this year. Avilan just wasn't executing. His sinker wasn't moving as well as he was used to, and I think Arizona has a little bit to do with that for sure."
Avilan struggled in the spring, allowing 12 runs on 16 hits, including three home runs in just 10 appearances. His ERA was an astronomical 10.13 compared to Coleman's who posted a 1.64 ERA with no walks and 12 strikeouts in 11 innings.
Rookie Ross Stripling was named the Dodgers fifth starter a few days earlier and also made the Opening Day roster as he is set to make his first career MLB start in San Francisco on Friday, April 8.
Another rookie, Trayce Thompson, who was acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox in the offseason, made the roster in place of the injured Andre Ethier, who will be out for the next 8-12 weeks with a fractured right leg.
In the infield, former Colorado Rockies shortstop, Charlie Culberson, made the roster in place of the injured Howie Kendrick, who will start the season on the 15-day disabled list. Culberson hit .308/.379/.508 during the spring and can play three different infield positions.
Rounding out the surprises on the roster is catcher Austin Barnes, who will be listed as the second catcher behind A.J. Ellis on Opening Day. The move means that All-Star Yasmani Grandal will start the season on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 25th.
The rest of the 25-man Opening Day roster can be seen below:
Clayton Kershaw (L)
Scott Kazmir (L)
Alex Wood (L)
Relief Pitchers (7):
J.P. Howell (L)
Adrian Gonzalez (L)
Corey Seager (L)
Chase Utley (L)
Carl Crawford (L)
Joc Pederson (L)
Scott Van Slyke
Disabled List (10)
Brett Anderson (L) (60-day)
Mike Bolsinger (15-day)
Andre Ethier (15-day)
Alex Guerrero (15-day)
Yasmani Grandal (15-day)
Howie Kendrick (15-day)
Brandon McCarthy (60-day)
Frankie Montas (60-day)
Josh Ravin (15-day)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (15-day)