first_imgPosition players: Will Smith, David Freese, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock, Russell Martin, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez– Crazy as this sounds, I worry that Ryu is one bad start away from not being a “lock.” More than that, I worry the Ryu-Smith battery is questionable enough to make Martin his personal catcher in October. There’s too much in that sentence to unpack in this space, but I wouldn’t write it without cause. FanGraphs broke down his recent struggles.–  I don’t know where Urías, Stripling and Maeda fit best. They’ll get in because they are postseason veterans who are flexible enough to make the best of whatever role they’re handed. They’ll probably wind up in middle-relief, but I can see any of them starting or opening or even closing.– Quibble with my choices of position players if you must, but at least look at their second-half batting stats first.In if they’re healthy (3): Rich Hill, Max Muncy, Alex Verdugo Editor’s note: This is the Sept. 5 edition of the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.I’ve been holding off on writing this newsletter until Gavin Lux’s September fate was sealed. Now that he’s here, this is a good time to take a deep look at what a 25-man postseason roster might look like for the Dodgers. You figure they’ll take 12 pitchers and 13 position players. While the position-player jobs are more clearly delineated than they were this time last year, the pitching staff is a jumble of youth and experience and swingmen. Wish me luck.Locks (18)Pitchers: Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urías, Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img – I’m not too worried about Hill. He’s probably the Game 4 starter if he is healthy, and maybe the Game 3 starter if Ryu doesn’t recover from his mini-slump. He can also relieve in a pinch.– I’m not too worried about Muncy either. A strong September finish once he returns from his wrist injury would help his cause to be in the everyday lineup. A fractured wrist can seriously hamper a man’s swing.– Verdugo is the one I’m worried about. Oblique injuries are always tricky. Even if Verdugo is healthy come Oct. 1, what happens to his roster spot if Gavin Lux and Matt Beaty continue to hit in September? Both are comparable hitters to Verdugo (they all bat left-handed, wielding picturesque line-drive strokes) and I’m not certain how all three fit on a 25-man roster.They can’t all make it (5): Kenley Jansen, Caleb Ferguson, Adam Kolarek, Dylan Floro, Casey Sadler– There’s an inflection point coming for Jansen at which he either 1, pitches like a reliable closer again; 2, doesn’t look like the team’s best ninth-inning option but is deemed trustworthy in a lesser role; 3, can’t regain his mechanics and doesn’t make the roster. This could go down to the wire.–  I’m tempted to think of Ferguson/Kolarek and Floro/Sadler as dyads. Pick one of the two. If versatility is the determining factor, Kolarek has enjoyed more success against righties than Ferguson. Floro’s pitched a tad better against lefties than Sadler, but it’s close.The kids (4): Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May– It’s too soon to pass judgment on Lux, beyond the fact that he hasn’t shrunk from any big moments yet. ESPN.com wrote about how Lux “knocked down the door” to earn his audition. Remember, he’s playing with house money now.– It seems risky to leave a guy slashing .288/.338/.491 in half a season’s worth of games off your October roster. Yet all of Beaty’s damage has come against righties, and unfortunately for him, I can’t think of a team that has as many left-handers (Bellinger, Seager, Pederson, maybe Verdugo and Lux) capable of doing what he does in a batter’s box. That makes him slightly less than a lock for me.– Between May’s four-seamer and Gonsolin’s two-seamer, I imagine the two right-handers would be devastating piggybacking off each other in the bullpen. You figure the Dodgers would commit to trying that in September to see if it would work in October. They haven’t done that, however, and I’m not sure how this experiment plays out.Thanks for playing (5): Yimi Garcia, Jedd Gyorko, Kristopher Negron, Josh Sborz, Austin Barnes– There’s a compelling case for up to 30 different players to make this team’s 25-man roster. These five guys aren’t among the 30. Barnes has the best chance to sneak in; an injury to Smith or Martin gets him a roster spot. Negron has been a pleasant surprise. His best contribution was pushing Hernandez and Taylor to perform to their potential at the plate in the second half. Garcia isn’t playoff material in a good year, but his career as a Dodger is probably longer and better than you realize. I hear Gyorko shoots a mean 3-pointer. And why is it that when I see the name “Josh Sborz” I think “Jacob Rhame”?-J.P.Editor’s note: Thanks for reading the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.More Dodgers readingJoc down this wall – The Dodgers broke the single-season National League record for home runs.Slow start – Four Dodgers minor league affiliates began playoff series Wednesday, and only one won.Down to the wire – Cody Bellinger enters the final weeks as the National League MVP frontrunner, writes MLB.com’s Richard Justice.Left with no choice – A.J. Pollock’s groin injury depressed his range in center field. Now he’s been moved to the corner.Russell Martin, ace reliever – Position players pitching has reached its peak.last_img read more