With Opening Day less than a week away, it’s time to make one last guess at what manager Don Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti will decide on for the final roster.
There are still several players in contention for the final few spots, but by April 1, the number will have to be down to 25.
Beckett is a lock to make the Dodgers’ roster this year.
He will be making nearly $16 million this year, and was impressive enough last year (2-3, 2.93 ERA with the Dodgers) that his rotation spot is not in jeopardy.
He will likely be the third starter, battling with Hyun-jin Ryu and Chad Billingsley.
Belisario will be a key member of the bullpen. He is a strikeout machine, posting a career K/9 of 7.81.
He will be one of the primary setup men for closer Brandon League.
Billingsley is a bit of a question mark for the beginning of the season.
He appears to be suffering no ill effects from his 2012 elbow troubles after opting not to undergo surgery this offseason, but he is battling a finger injury.
However, right now, he looks likely to be ready for the beginning of the season.
Capuano will be one of the odd men out of the rotation this season despite having an excellent year in 2012 (12-12, 3.72 ERA).
The additions of Josh Beckett late last year and Hyun-jin Ryu this offseason have made pitching depth a strength for the Dodgers. Capuano will likely begin the year in the bullpen.
Guerrier is unspectacular (career 3.47 ERA) but solid. He will be a middle reliever for the Dodgers and pitch the sixth or seventh inning when called upon.
Jansen will be the primary setup man in front of closer Brandon League.
In addition, he appears to be getting better, as his walk rate has decreased in his three years in the big leagues: 5.00 in 2010, 4.36 in 2011 and 3.05 in 2012.
Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, and he is coming off a Cy Young Award in 2011 and the runner-up finish last season.
He will deservedly start his third straight Opening Day and will anchor a rotation that is undoubtedly the Dodgers’ biggest strength. If they hope to make a World Series run, he will have to be a huge part.
Lilly, like Capuano, will be one of the odd men out of the rotation this season, assuming all five original members remain healthy.
That being said, he will be a long man out of the bullpen because all the rotation spots are spoken for. He and Capuano would both be available for spot starts, with Aaron Harang probably on his way out of Los Angeles.
Ellis is a no-brainer to make the team.
He was the Dodgers’ starting catcher last season, playing in 133 games. He will be the starter this year as well.
Federowicz had to win a position battle this spring, and he did.
He is expected to be A.J. Ellis’ backup.
Cruz would have been the starting third baseman this season, but after Hanley Ramirez injured his thumb, manager Don Mattingly will likely use Cruz at shortstop.
Cruz came out of nowhere last season, and whether or not he is able to repeat his breakout year will be a huge key for the Dodgers.
There is no debate here.
Ellis, who had a 2.9 win season by fangraphs.com's WAR, will be the starting second baseman again this year.
Similarly, Gonzalez will undoubtedly be the Dodgers’ first baseman this year.
He will hit in the middle of the lineup, and his power will be needed to fuel what could be a suspect offense this year. Gonzalez, who put up his lowest SLG since 2005 last year, will be counted on for a bounce back season.
Hairston will be a key member of the Dodgers this year.
While Hanley Ramirez is on the disabled list, Hairston will be part of the platoon at third base. Once Ramirez returns, Hairston will return to his originally-intended role: super utility man.
He can play multiple positions, and the Dodgers will need him to do so.
Similarly to Hairston, Punto is a utility man.
He can—and will—play multiple infield positions. His positional flexibility will allow Mattingly to get creative with his lineups during the long season.
After injuring his thumb in the World Baseball Classic, Ramirez will begin the year on the DL.
He is expected to miss eight weeks
Ethier will be the Dodgers’ full-time right fielder this year, as he has been for the last six years.
He’ll be an important bat in the middle of the lineup, and the Dodgers will be counting on him to be a key member of their outfield.
Kemp is a perennial MVP candidate at this point in his career.
After his 2011 season, he is rightfully considered one of the best players in baseball. His 2012 season was primarily lost to injury, so his comeback this year will be a huge storyline if the Dodgers wish to get to the World Series.