If anyone took a glance at the Oklahoma City Dodgers roster entry on the team’s official website over the weekend, they would have seen that the number of active players was holding strong at 33, letting the thought linger that a huge personnel shakeup was on the horizon before the season opener against Iowa on April 6.
On Tuesday morning, however, the Double-A Tulsa Drillers revealed their own Opening Day squad, clearing up a handful of potential decisions for OKC, even though a few small questions still remain.
After the dust settled on the Tulsa roster, the count on the Oklahoma City crew now stands at 26, but the list still doesn’t include the names of possible starting pitchers such as Wilmer Font, Jair Jurrjens or Justin Masterson. Based on periods of inactivity, though, Jurrjens and Masterson may be candidates to start the season at Glendale. Nor does the OKC list contain relievers Ralston Cash and Joe Broussard, or even catcher/third baseman Kyle Farmer, who all were assigned to the Drillers’ 25-man squad. Farmer is already a member of the big league 40-man roster.
Julio Urias appeared on the Oklahoma City roster up until Tuesday afternoon, when he was magically optioned to High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Many still assume that the plan for the 20-year-old lefty is eventually wind up in extended spring training to begin his 2017 campaign, but nobody has a clue as to which path he takes to get there. As it is not possible to simply be optioned directly to extended spring training, he needs to be a part of some roster at least temporarily, perhaps until a phantom injury of sorts is revealed or some kind of other loophole is utilized.
Another name not on either roster is Josh Sborz. The 23-year-old righty, who is currently ranked as the 18th best prospect in the organization by MLB Pipeline, figures to be promoted to OKC during some point of the 2017 season, depending on his progressions at Tulsa. Sborz also has the ability to throw in relief, and is fresh off his very first non-roster invite to Dodgers’ spring training. He was shut down for about a week very early in big league camp for throwing too hard too soon, and could very well be the bunk mate of Urias in Glendale, if only for the reason of keeping him fresh towards the end of the season.
One thing we do know for certain is that righty Trevor Oaks will indeed take the bump for OKC in the season opener against Iowa at home on Thursday.
The biggest overload on the Oklahoma City roster right now appears to be in the infield, as the current list shows eight potential roster candidates. Ike Davis may be the prospective odd man out, as prized prospect Cody Bellinger promises to see plenty of time at first base, in addition to the occasional appearances by Rob Segedin and O’Koyea Dickson. As far as second base, shortstop and third base go, Segedin, Charlie Culberson, Chris Taylor, Darnell Sweeney and Drew Maggi create a logjam which could prevent at least one of the group from seeing a significant amount of playing time.
In the outfield, the crew is holding strong and steady at six players, thanks mainly to Andre Ethier‘s presence on the 10-day disabled list. Still, because management insists that players like Segedin, Bellinger and Taylor see ample time in the outfield to prove their versatility, a bit of a bottleneck could exist until a few of the long term spots are ironed out.
In the meantime, be sure to check back frequently, as we’ll be among the first to report any major roster news regarding the Oklahoma City squad. The official OKC 25-man roster must be submitted to the minor league baseball front office on or before the morning of April 6.
(Update: OKC 25-man roster was finalized early Tuesday evening)
Outfielders (4) – Tyler Holt, Alex Verdugo, Brett Eibner and Trayce Thompson
Infielders/Outfielders (4) – Cody Bellinger, O’Koyea Dickson, Rob Segedin and Darnell Sweeney
Infielders (3) – Willie Calhoun, Charlie Culberson and Chris Taylor
Catchers (2) – Jack Murphy and Bobby Castillo
Starting Pitchers (5) – Trevor Oaks, Fabio Castillo, Wilmer Font, Justin Masterson and Jair Jurrjens
Bullpen (7) – Josh Fields, Steve Geltz, Adam Liberatore, Brandon Morrow, Jacob Rhame, Patrick Schuster and Madison Younginer
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