ANAHEIM – Utility player Zach McKinstry is likely to create the Dodgers opening day roster, which would solve one of the team’s final squad dilemmas before the start of the season.
Three position players who were not invited to the squad – Elliot Soto, Andy Burns and Stevie Berman – were transferred to the minor league camp on Sunday. A fourth non-roster contestant, pitcher Enny Romero, was not officially reassigned but did not join the team back to Southern California for the Freeway series.
If the Dodgers keep 13 position players and 13 pitchers on their opening roster, McKinstry will form the team.
Manager Dave Roberts was unwilling to confirm or deny that McKinstry had reached the club on Sunday. Since there are only two exhibition games left against the angels, a pitcher and a position player are involved in the final squad decisions.
Assuming McKinstry does the roster, only the last bullpen job is available. Left-handed Scott Alexander and right-handed Dennis Santana are the top candidates.
It would be the first opening day for McKinstry (25), who fought against 300 in the Cactus League. The left-hander saw the time in five defensive positions in the camp – second base, shortstop, third base, midfield and right field – and was not charged with an error.
McKinstry made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 2020, appearing in four games, winning with a double 2-7
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The Dodgers made two late changes to their lineup on Sunday afternoon. Starting mug David Price was scratched due to illness and replaced by Tony Gonsolin, who was originally intended for relief. Left fielder AJ Pollock was not feeling well either and DJ Peters took his place.
None of the diseases are considered serious, said Roberts. Price is expected to play a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Monday afternoon, while Pollock will start the night game against the Angels and get four record appearances.
Price, Gonsolin and Dustin May, who will start Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, are candidates for the Dodgers’ fifth starter.
Roberts said the choice of a fifth starter would be discussed in a meeting after the simulated game. Will the fifth starter stay in rotation after the Dodgers game on April 5th in Oakland? « Whoever can get through that fifth starter for the first time, we’ll see how it goes, » said Roberts. « If we build other (pitchers), we still have a few options. » … Walker Buehler will also throw in the simulated game on Monday. … Prospects Michael Busch, Kody Hoese, and Miguel Vargas have been added to the Dodgers’ Freeway Series list. They are expected to start the season in the alternate location.
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