Dave Roberts: Jason Heyward ‘Safe Bet’ To Be On Dodgers Opening Day Roster

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers still have a few weeks left of Spring Training action to play, but early reports indicate that Jason Heyward has been one of their better non-roster invitees of 2023 camp so far.

The former Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs slugger has taken full advantage of the opportunity to revitalize his career. Despite having no guarantees of making the Major League team once they break camp, Heyward’s early spring numbers showcase that he might be the perfect fit to complete L.A.’s outfield depth entering the 2023 season.

The five-time Gold Glove Award winner and 2010 All-Star, despite a small sample size, has made an impressionable impact at the plate through his first six games with the Dodgers. According to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, manager Dave Roberts reiterated Heyward is likely to make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster:

Dave Roberts said “I think it’s a safe bet” that Jason Heyward will be on the Opening Day roster, which was expected.

— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 8, 2023

Heyward went hitless in Wednesday’s tie with the Seattle Mariners, but is still 4-for-13 with two home runs, two RBI and two walks over six Cactus League games.

Although it was already appearing likely Heyward would start the season with the Dodgers, that became more of a reality when Gavin Lux tore the ACL and LCL in his right knee. The domino effect has L.A. needing outfield depth due to Chris Taylor now shifting into a role that will primarily call for him to play the infield.

Outman joins Heyward as Dodgers outfield option

In addition to Heyward, one of the Dodgers’ top outfield platoon options is 25-year-old prospect James Outman.

Outman, who made his MLB debut last year, is also posting very strong figures this spring. He’s gone 6-for-15 while posting a 1.233 on-base plus slugging percentage to go along with four RBI.

However, it’s also conceivable Outman begins the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City in order to make regular starts.

Are you following Dodger Blue on Instagram? It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!