GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Even though Los Angeles Dodgers position players do not report to spring training for another week, the team’s lineup was a prominent topic Friday.
New manager Dave Roberts, on the eve of his team’s first official workout for pitchers and catchers, was asked if he has settled on an Opening Day lineup at this point. He elected not to reveal too much.
“We’ve kind of talked about it a little bit,” Roberts said, while sitting next to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “It’s a fun exercise for any manager to kind of project. But we’re so early in the game.”
“Aside from me, I think there’s any number of guys,” said Roberts, himself a classic speed guy in his playing days. “You look at the roster and where we hope to be on April 4, we hope to be healthy. There’s any number of guys, for sure a handful of guys with respect to whichever pitcher is going that night.”
Roberts admitted that the biggest influence on his daily lineup will be the opposing pitcher. And lineups could vary considerably from week to week or series to series. Analytics will play a role in who bats where.
“Even as a player, everyone talks about consistency and there’s definitely something to be said for consistency,” Roberts said. “But with the information and the data, I think players are really starting to understand their strengths and their weaknesses, which we encourage. I think information is great. So whatever puts us in the best position to win that day, that’s who’s at the top.”