The extra players available in the 2020 player pool could give Dodgers‘ manager Dave Roberts up to 30 pitchers to select from for his final roster by Opening Day. These same pitchers, however, only have three weeks to get stretched out after dealing with four idle months they’re not used to having.
Pitchers who are not selected for the final 30-man active roster will report to the team’s alternate training site.
The Dodgers have plenty of available arms, even after losing Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu and longtime starter Rich Hill. The team signed former All-Star lefty Alex Wood for a second stint, while also acquiring former Cy Young winner David Price and young flame-throwing right-hander Brusdar Graterol.
Roberts has said that his ballclub will carry a five-man starting rotation, anticipating the starters won’t go beyond four innings (at the most) their first time through the rotation. The Dodgers have the depth to trot out arms who could eat the later innings of a game. Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, and Ross Stripling are all viable long options out of the bullpen.
In the event of an injury, a player opting out, or a coronavirus infection, the Dodgers certainly have the depth to add a justifiable arm to the rotation from within.
As of now, no Dodger players have been reported to opt-out of playing this season. Several players league-wide were reported to have opted out Monday, with more expected to follow.
The Dodgers’ starting rotation for now looks to be Wood, Price, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias in some shape or form. Buehler would be the lone righty in a heavy left-handed rotation. This starting rotation figures to be one of the better rotations in the league, as have been Dodger rotations in the recent past. All pitchers are experienced and have pitched in big games.
The rotation could easily be shuffled giving pitchers days off due to injuries or needed rest. Many other teams have implemented six-men rotations in light of their rosters expanding.
With a shortened season, each game could feel like a playoff game. However, Roberts has an arsenal of arms he could choose from to ensure his club’s best effort each night.
The Dodgers recently announced their initial 51-man player pool for the upcoming shortened 2020 season. Among the pool were 28 pitchers. Two more pitchers could be added as it was speculated the club might add their first-round pick Bobby Miller and second-round pick Landon Knack, both of whom recently agreed to terms with the team.
Each team’s player pool can include up to 60 players, but as President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman said via Zoom last week, the team was not expected to announce all 60 players at once.
“We may stagger it a little bit to buy some time,” Friedman said. “Our thought process in putting together the 60-man is trying to balance whether or not this might be the only reps some of our prospects get this year.”