Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
With the regular season winding down and their playoff seeding all but official, the Los Angeles Dodgers are now just looking ahead to the postseason and setting up their best roster to win a World Series title.
The position-player side of things is set, barring any unforeseen circumstances, but how the pitching staff will shape up remains in the air, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. The Dodgers currently have 14 pitchers on their roster, but the postseason limit is 13, so the team will have a tough decision on who to cut.
Michael Grove was the most recent pitcher to join the roster, making him the long shot to earn a spot, but the Dodgers have not ruled out carrying the right-hander on their roster.
“We’re going to give Michael every opportunity,” Roberts said. “He’ll be able to go multiples, which is good. What we’ve seen from Michael this year, he’s been great. He does something different, it’s a different throw, it’s a plus-slider with a fastball. So he’s unique in that sense. He’s going to get every opportunity.”
The decision will likely come down to picking two of Ryan Yarbrough, Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove, which may ultimately depend on the opponent the Dodgers face in the National League Division Series and how they construct their roster.
The last pitcher off will find themselves on the taxi squad and could make their way onto a potential NL Championship Series or World Series rosters.
Grove has a 6.28 ERA across 67.1 innings this season, but he has found more success working out of the bullpen. Since returning from the 15-day injured list, Grove has thrown 3.1 scoreless innings while giving up just one hit.
Roberts praised Grove’s strikeout ability after he was activated but wasn’t sure of the type of role he would deploy the 26-year-old in.
“I think Michael is a guy that, it’s a righty-run,” Roberts said. “I think he can go two innings. It’s swing and miss stuff. I don’t know if it’s an opener type situation. I think it’s just kind of finding a good run for him to be deployed in a game.”
Grove returned after missing nearly seven weeks due to right lat tightness. It marked a second time he was put on the IL this season as he previously missed a stretch from April into early June because of a right groin strain.
Is there room on Dodgers postseason roster for Michael Grove?
The Dodgers pitching staff is mostly set with Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller as the locks in the rotation with Lance Lynn and Ryan Pepiot more than likely earning two more spots, and possibly competing for the third starter spot.
The bullpen will consist of Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly, Ryan Brasier, Shelby Miller, Caleb Ferguson and Alex Vesia as locks as well.
Yarbrough seems to be a safe bet to make the club, but if the Dodgers decide they would prefer pure stuff or another righty over a third left-hander, that could open the door for Sheehan and Grove to both make the team.
However, if Yarbrough makes the team, that leaves the two rookie right-handers battling it out for the final spot. Both Grove and Sheehan would fill similar roles as well, so it may come down to who the Dodgers have more trust in to pitch out of the bullpen.
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