This is a big week for the Dodgers and these next few exhibition games will surely determine what players will make the 30 man active roster.

We know at least one player that won’t be joining the major league squad on Opening Day and that is pitcher, Tony Gonsolin.  Gonsolin, 26, was optioned to the Los Angeles Dodgers secondary training facility on Saturday, July 18th.

Tony Gonsolin reported to spring training 2.0 on July 8th after he had missed nearly the whole first week of workouts. The decision to option Gonsolin is one that will benefit the Dodgers in the long run and here is what Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts, had to say about the matter:

“More of build up, giving him an opportunity to throw more innings. With this year, starting pitching, length in the pen, you’ve got to have depth because you don’t know how it’s going to play out. To option him, keep him built up, it’s without a doubt he’s going to impact us and help us this year.”

Another pitcher that the Dodgers will slowly build up to speed is Walker Buehler. The day has yet to come when Dodger fans see Buehler take the mound on Opening Day and flex his might.

Unfortunately, that day will not come until Clayton Kershaw retires or decides leave the Dodgers, the latter of which I don’t think will happen.

Walker Buehler has had a slower start to this spring training 2.0 than other members of the pitching staff but I believe this will play out perfectly for the Dodgers. The season is only 60 games and then a regular postseason. Keeping Buehler as fresh as possible would be a huge move for the Dodgers.

Having Buehler and Kershaw right at their peak of the season when they enter the playoffs would be a scary sight for any opponent.

I still think we will see Buehler and Kershaw pitch in at least five games with 10 being the absolute most this season. One thing is for sure, Walker Buehler will not be a fun pitcher to face regardless if he has had a slower start to the season.

Speaking of Clayton Kershaw, he is set to make his ninth Opening Day start on Thursday, July 23rd.

As of right now, Clayton Kershaw is just 36 strikeouts away from 2,500 in his career. Surely, the three time Cy Young award winner should have no problem racking up 36 strikeouts in any situation he is put into.

By the end of Kershaw’s career, I believe that Kershaw will be right over 3,000 strikeouts. Further solidifying his Hall of Fame resume.

While the Opening Day roster has yet to be finalized, there are some players that are no brainers to crack the roster.

Pitchers:

  • Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Alex Wood, Julio Urias, Ross Stripling, Dustin May, Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen, Pedro Baez, Scott Alexander, Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly, Dylan Floro, Caleb Ferguson

Position Players:

  • Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Gavin Lux, Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, Mookie Betts, Will Smith, Matt Beaty, Austin Barnes.

With all of the players I just listed, there are still five spots left on the 30 man roster. Some players that I think could potentially be the final spots are: AJ Ramos, AJ Pollock, Zack McKinstry, DJ Peters, Edwin Rios and Mitchell White.

The Dodgers have so many talented players in their minor league system that are good enough to form their own major league team.

Tonight the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks in an exhibition game. Mitchell White is the scheduled starter and is looking to secure one of those final spots on the Opening Day roster.

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