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Dodgers make two surprising moves in NLDS roster

The Los Angeles Dodgers released their 26-man roster for the National League Division Series on Saturday morning ahead of Game 1.

For the most part, there were no shocking omissions or last-minute injuries that kept key players off the roster. However, there were two unexpected surprises.

Relief pitcher Ryan Yarbrough was left off the roster as was infielder Amed Rosario.

In Yarbrough’s place, left-hander Alex Vesia, and right-handed rookie Michael Grove made the roster. Grove is one of four rookie pitchers who made the NLDS roster, including Game 2 starter Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, and Emmet Sheehan.

Both Rosario and Yarbrough were mid-season additions to the NL West Champion Dodgers. Yarbrough came over from the Kansas City Royals and Rosario was acquired on deadline day from the Cleveland Guardians in a trade that sent starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard to the Land.

Yarbrough pitched well for the Dodgers in the second half of the season and had a unique hybrid role as both a starter and reliever. In 11 appearances, including two starts, Yarbrough had a 4.89 ERA with 38 strikeouts, five walks, and a save. The 31-year-old left-hander pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Dodgers in the 2020 World Series.

Rosario, 27, appeared in 48 games for the Dodgers and provided them with a right-handed bat that could hit left-handed pitching. Both Rosario and Enrique Hernandez were acquired at the deadline for this purpose as the Dodgers struggled against lefties for most of the season.

Rosario wasn’t out of this world with Los Angeles, but his numbers were similar to his first half of the season in Cleveland. Rosario batted .256 with three homers, six doubles, three triples and 18 RBI in 133 plate appearances.

The Dodgers will have several right-handed hitting options off the bench for the NLDS, including Hernandez, Chris Taylor, and Austin Barnes. Because the Diamondbacks deploy a lot of right-handed starting pitchers and relievers, the decision to put infielder Kolten Wong on the roster over Rosario makes some sense.

Wong, 32, was traded to the Seattle Mariners in the offseason, but struggled offensively. He was released by Seattle on August 3, and signed by the Dodgers on August 9 where he played in Triple-A Oklahoma City until he was called up on September 1. In 20 games down the stretch, Wong batted .300 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI. Wong is also a better defensive player than Rosario and could provide much-needed defense late in games.

Game 1 of the NLDS between the Dodger and Diamondbacks is scheduled for 6:20PM PST and will air live on TBS.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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