Dodgers Announce Opening Day Roster

The Dodgers announced their Opening Day roster for the 2011 championship season. The club also placed catcher Dioner Navarro, infielder Casey Bake and pitchers Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 22. Outfielder Jay Gibbons was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 26.

    The 25-man roster, as broken down by position:
 
 Pitchers (11):
Chad Billingsley
Jonathan Broxton
Lance Cormier
Matt Guerrier
Blake Hawksworth
Kenley Jansen
Clayton Kershaw (L)
Hong-Chih Kuo (L)
Hiroki Kuroda
Ted Lilly (L)
Mike MacDougal
 
 Catchers (3):
Rod Barajas
A.J. Ellis
Hector Gimenez (S)
 
 Infielders (6):
Jamey Carroll
Ivan De Jesus
Rafael Furcal (S)
Aaron Miles (S)
James Loney (L)
Juan Uribe
 
 Outfielders (5):
Andre Ethier (L)
Tony Gwynn, Jr. (L)
Matt Kemp
Xavier Paul (L)
Marcus Thames
The roster includes a couple of surprises, including Ivan De Jesus, Jr., a second generation player, an outfielder with a hall of fame father (Tony Gwynn, Jr.) and a third catcher (Hector Gimenez) who can also play first and (perhaps) in the outfield but has only two at-bats in the Major Leagues.

DeJesus and Jamey Carroll will handle the third base slot until Casey Blake graduates off the disabled list and will vie for the second backup slot in the infield when he does. And outfielder Xavier Paul and Marcus Thames will share the reserve outfield slots. Veterans Lance Cormier and Mike MacDougal will open the season in the bullpen.

Outfielder Gabe Kapler and infielder Juan Castro have a spot on the Albuquerque roster if they want it, but they will take some time to decided if they would rather become free agents.

Manager Don Mattingly said, "It was a tough decision cutting Kapler. We really wanted to keep him but he knew from the beginning what our plans were and we kept him informed as the spring went on." 

De Jesus may be the odd-man out when Blake returns. He hit .317 for the spring after losing the 2010 season with a broken leg.

Gimenez, 28, was signed out of Venezuela last winter after being recommended by Dodgers Double-A manager Carlos Subero, who managed Gimenez in the Venezuelan Winter League. Subero was instrumental in the signing of Ron Belisario, who had a lights-put season in 2010 but who has been unable to even get a visa out of Venezuela to join the club this year. x

MacDougal, an All-Star closer with the Royals in 2003 and Cormier worked out of the Rays bullpen last season. They edged out lefty Scott Elbert who was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. If he can conquer his wildness, expect him back in Los Angeles before the season is over.

Casey Bake and pitchers Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 22. Outfielder Jay Gibbons was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 26. To complete the roster shakeup, pitcher Jon Link and first baseman John Lindsey were designated for assignment and Belisario was moved to the restricted list.

NOTE: Major League baseball will televise the Dodger-Giants opener tonight free!

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