Michael Grove replaces Ryan Pepiot

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for the 2023 season is made up of the expected 13 pitchers and 13 position players, but it presented an upset when Michael Grove earned a spot in Ryan Pepiot’s place.

Heading into the final week of spring training games, the Dodgers needed to decide on a fifth member of the starting rotation, the last player off the bench, and a relief pitcher. Pepiot initially clinched the final spot in the Opening Day rotation over Grove, an opportunity created when Tony Gonsolin suffered a sprained left ankle.

However, the Dodgers placed Pepiot on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. He last pitched in the Freeway Series finale.

Meanwhile, James Outman also clinched the final position player job over the likes of Steven Duggar, Luke Williams, and Bradley Zimmer. He is expected to be part of a center field platoon with Trayce Thompson.

Andre Jackson earned the last spot in the bullpen. Although he’s traditionally a starter, the right-hander pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this spring and will be the team’s multi-inning reliever to start the season.

Jackson, Outman and Pepiot are among six Dodgers making the Opening Day roster for the first time in their careers. They are joined by Yency Almonte, Phil Bickford and Miguel Vargas.

“I spoke to James and told him that he was on the team and, as he said, it was a surreal moment for him. That was great. I think Vargas, maybe I dropped the ball a little bit,” Roberts said with a laugh.

“He was supposed to be on the team, so I didn’t feel the need to call him. So I was asking what is his status for the Freeway Series. So I said, ‘Hey, you’re going to start at second base this year. Congratulations.’

“He just said, ‘Great. Thank you.’ Andre and Ryan had different conversations with those guys. I think they were both in shock and very excited. They handled it very well. I’m very excited for those guys.”

Dodgers 2023 Opening Day roster (players listed alphabetically)

Starting pitchers (5): Michael Grove, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Noah Syndergaard, Julio Urías

Relief Pitchers (8): Yency Almonte, Phil Bickford, Caleb Ferguson, Brusdar Graterol, Andre Jackson, Shelby Miller, Evan Phillips, Alex Vesia,

Receivers (2): austin barneswill smith

Infielders (4): Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, Miguel Rojas, Miguel Vargas

Outfielders (5): Mookie Betts, Jason Heyward, James Outman, David Peralta, Trayce Thompson

Infielders/Outfielders (1): Chris Taylor

Designated Hitter (1): jd martinez

Disabled list (9): Walker Buehler (60 days IL), JP Feyereisen (60 days), Tony Gonsolin (15 days), Daniel Hudson (15 days IL), Gavin Lux (60 days), Jimmy Nelson (15 days), Ryan Pepiot (15 days days), Alex Reyes, (15 days), Blake Treinen (60 days)

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