Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The final pieces to the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster were put into place last week when manager Dave Roberts announced Andre Jackson, James Outman and Ryan Pepiot were going to be included. Roberts also confirmed Jason Heyward had earned a spot as well, which he previously alluded to as being likely.
Along with Jackson and Outman, Miguel Vargas is making an Opening Day roster for the first time in his career. Ryan Pepiot was initially included in that group as well but has since been placed on the 15-day injured list due to a left oblique strain.
Unlike the three aforementioned teammates, Vargas had essentially secured a spot with the Dodgers since the offseason as the projected starting second baseman.
However, that was news to Vargas and an oversight by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts when he informed players of their inclusion on the Opening Day roster.
“I talked to James and told him he was on the team, and as he said, it was a surreal moment for him. That was great. I think Vargas, I sort of maybe dropped the ball a little bit,” Roberts said with a laugh.
“It was assumed he was going to be on the team, so I didn’t feel the need to call him. So he was asking what his status is going to the Freeway Series. So I said, ‘Hey, you’re going to be starting at second base this year. Congratulations.’
“He just kind of said, ‘Great. Thanks.’ Andre and Ryan, had different conversations with those guys. I think they were both in shock and very excited. They handled it really well. I’m very excited for those guys.”
Vargas made his MLB debut last season but only appeared in 18 games (11 starts), but didn’t spend any time at second base. Vargas worked with Miguel Rojas to get familiar with his new position, and has drawn rave reviews throughout the spring over a successful transition.
Miguel Vargas turned down WBC
While the Dodgers had seven players from their 40-man roster participate in the World Baseball Classic, Vargas declined an opportunity to play for Team Cuba so that he could focus on the starting opportunity that was forthcoming.
Some of that was delayed a bit as Vargas suffered a hairline fracture in his right pinky that prevented him from swinging a bat for his first six Cactus League games.
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