Dodgers’ 2015 roster will have a very different look
Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick could only speak for himself Friday. He was alone on a dais at Dodger Stadium, at least until his two young sons joined him to talk about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.Still, he could have spoken for everyone as he looked ahead to working with new double-play partner Jimmy Rollins: “I think spring training is going to be huge as far as getting in and getting comfortable.”From the moment pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 19, 2015, everyone — from the players to the security personnel at Camelback Ranch — ought to be given a list of names and jersey numbers. Friday, Kendrick became the fourth Dodgers player to wear number 47 in the last two years. RELATED: Howie Kendrick is introduced at Dodgers Stadium The joke about the Dodgers having more front-office executives than desks in the front office is already old. In December alone, new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has overseen seven trades, signed two starting pitchers (once Brett Anderson passes his physical) and designated three players for assignment — including two who were not on the Dodgers’ roster in October.“I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the point where we sit back and put our feet on the desk,” Friedman said of his projected 2015 roster. “The bullpen will always be an answer that we give. It’s against my nature to ever feel comfortable with a bullpen in the off-season.”It will be tempting for fans to judge the entire off-season on the success of the blockbuster trade that sent popular outfielder Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres. Asked if he realizes that fans will hate him if the trade is deemed a failure, Friedman said, “not any more than we will hate ourselves.”RELATED: Whicker: Kemp-for-Grandal is not Martinez-for-DeShields bad, but badBut that trade cannot be judged in a vacuum. Without it, Rollins would still be in Philadelphia. As it stands, the Dodgers have a reasonably clear picture of their personnel at every position. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Catcher: Friedman said that Grandal was among his top targets in October. How Grandal and A.J. Ellis split the playing time is ultimately up to manager Don Mattingly.First base: Adrian Gonzalez played 159 games last season. Grandal and Scott Van Slyke can lighten his load depending on whether a righty or lefty is pitching.Second base: Kendrick played 154 games at the position last season. Darwin Barney and Alex Guerrero can back up.PHOTOS: Howie Kendrick wears Dodgers cap and jersey for first timeShortstop: Rollins played 131 games last season at age 35. While Friedman praised Rollins’ durability, prospect Corey Seager might work his way into the mix this season.Third base: Juan Uribe, who turns 36 in March, was limited to 103 games last season because of hamstring problems. Justin Turner should be prepared if Uribe continues to slow down.Left field: Carl Crawford, 33, played 94 games at the position last season. Van Slyke and Andre Ethier — who’s still a Dodger for now — can back up.Center field: Friedman said that Joc Pederson, 22, isn’t guaranteed the opening day job. He mentioned Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Kiké Hernandez and Chris Heisey as the other candidates, in that order.Right field: It’s Puig’s job once Pederson is ready to play center. Ethier, Van Slyke and Hernandez all have varying degrees of experience in right.Starting rotation: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy are locks. Brett Anderson is the number-five starter if he passes his physical and gets through spring training healthy. Mike Bolsinger, Joe Wieland, Carlos Frias, Zach Lee and Chris Reed give the Dodgers the best ten-deep group that they’ve had in years.Bullpen: Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell and Brandon League are the last men standing from 2014 — and League has been mentioned in trade rumors. Pedro Baez and Paco Rodriguez will try to stick in the majors. Joel Peralta, Juan Nicasio, Chris Hatcher and Adam Liberatore can define their roles in their first spring training with the Dodgers.For his part, Friedman wasn’t willing to reflect on his own off-season Friday.“I don’t think we’ve been able to slow the game down enough to postmortem the last two months,” he said. “We won’t until we get to spring training.”You can’t blame him. On the field and in the locker room, the changes have been sweeping.