LA lists Ethier on NLDS roster, with Gordon to pinch-run
Dodgers carry Capuano as extra lefty in 'pen, leave off veterans like Hairston, League
ATLANTA -- Andre Ethier and Chris Capuano were included, but veterans Jerry Hairston, Brandon League, Carlos Marmol and Edinson Volquez were excluded from the 25-man roster the Dodgers submitted Thursday for their National League Division Series against the Braves.
Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 at 5:30 p.m. PT Thursday night in Atlanta on TBS.
Ethier will be limited to pinch-hitting because of a leg injury, leading to the addition of speedster Dee Gordon for pinch-running purposes. That closed the door on Hairston, a 15-year veteran with postseason experience for the 2009 World Series-winning Yankees and the '11 Brewers.
Hairston was already on the bubble because of the acquisition of Michael Young at the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline. With Ethier and Matt Kemp unavailable for the outfield, Skip Schumaker will be the primary center fielder, and Young will back up Mark Ellis at second base and Juan Uribe at third base.
The Dodgers will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players. Capuano, who has never played in the postseason, will be a third lefty in the bullpen and a long reliever. One of Capuano's best starts of the season was in Atlanta on May 18 (7 1/3 innings, one run). Capuano showed over the final three games of the regular season, when he appeared in relief, that he is healed from a strained groin muscle.
League, also looking for his first postseason action, opened the season as the Dodgers' closer after signing a three-year contract during the offseason. But he lost his job to Kenley Jansen and the confidence of management, which aggressively added former All-Star closers Brian Wilson and Marmol to assume the innings League had been pitching.
Marmol, acquired from the Cubs in a trade for Matt Guerrier, showed significant mechanical improvement, posting a 2.53 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings for the Dodgers. But he walked 19. League walked only 15 in 54 1/3 innings, but allowed eight homers and had a 5.30 ERA.
Volquez pitched well for the Dodgers after being released by the Padres, but there was no room for a fifth starter in a four-man rotation. Volquez was never seriously considered for the bullpen.
Rosters can be changed for the best-of-seven League Championship Series and again for the World Series.
In the case of Ethier, any injured player can be replaced during a series, but that player becomes ineligible for the next postseason series.
The Braves announced their roster Wednesday. General manager Frank Wren said the reasoning was to allow a day for the players and media to deal with the decisions -- including leaving off veteran Dan Uggla -- so the club wouldn't have that distraction on gameday.
Dodgers management chose the opposite timeline, announcing the decision Thursday, even though some players were notified after Wednesday's workout.
Here is the 25-man roster:
Starting pitchers: Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ricky Nolasco
Bullpen: Jansen, Wilson, Ronald Belisario, Paco Rodriguez, J.P. Howell, Chris Withrow, Capuano
Catchers: A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz.
Infielders: Adrian Gonzalez, Ellis, Hanley Ramirez, Uribe, Nick Punto, Young, Gordon
Outfielders: Carl Crawford, Schumaker, Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke, Ethier
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.