Three 2022 Dodgers Additions Already with the Team

Supposedly, Major League Baseball and the Players Association are going to meet Thursday to start talking again about their wide and varied interests before getting the 2022 season rolling. We as fans know enough not to hold our collective breath as talks could break down any minute.

And as we are no closer to knowing what free agents the Dodgers could be thinking of signing or any potential trades they might pull off before the start of the season, let’s look at a few players who could make a big impact who didn’t play last season, but are already with the Dodgers.

EDWIN RIOS – Rios has been with the big league team since 2019, but went on the injured list early last May with a shoulder injury. He had successful surgery to repair the partially torn labrum a week later, and should be right on target to start the season healthy.

The corner infielder has been dealing with shoulder issues on and off since college, and now that’s he healthy, should show that power stroke of which Dodgers fans have only gotten glimpses. Rios has 13 home runs in his injury shortened career, but they all have been moonshots with his majestic swing.

With the designated hitter most likely coming to the National League, Rios could definitely see more playing time, both at DH and spelling Justin Turner at third base. A healthy season for Rios would be fun to watch.

TOMMY KAHNLE – Dodger fans have yet to see Kahnle in action, even though he was signed to a two-year, $4.2M deal before the 2021 season. He had undergone Tommy John surgery in July of 2020, and the Dodgers signed him hoping for a big return in 2022.

Jose touched on his possible comeback season in his article on Friday. With the uncertainty of whether either Joe Kelly or Kenley Jansen or neither will return to the Dodgers’ bullpen, and Corey Knebel now with the Phillies, Kahnle can slide into a spot, as a possible set up man to the closer.

Kahnle’s best season was his 2019 season, in which he pitched to a 3.67 ERA, 3.33 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 88 strikeouts and 20 walks in 61.1 innings over 72 appearances. If he can replicate that, he can make up to $750,000 in bonus money.

CALEB FERGUSON – Joining Kahnle in the Dodgers bullpen should be Ferguson, who is also coming off Tommy John surgery. Caleb underwent his second one in September of 2020, and wanted to return to the team for the playoffs in 2021 but was shut down by the Dodgers.

Ferguson has pitched for the Dodgers for three years, finding his footing as a reliever after not faring well as a starter. In those three seasons, he has a 29.1 percent strikeout rate, and an 8.7 percent walk rate, with 2020 being his best season so far.

Although there is no current timeline for his return, he should be ready to return early in the season if not by Opening Day.

24 thoughts on “Three 2022 Dodgers Additions Already with the Team

      1. If I read correctly, the notes refer to arthroscopic surgery. Are we sure that’s what he had rather than full blown invasive surgery?

      2. I can’t find anything that says what type of surgery he had. But they said he was expected back by Spring Training and the article said return to sport of 8.9 ± 2.4 months (range, 6.0-11.7 months). That could conceivably put it past February. Prior to the MLB lockout, Rios was taking full swings in the batting cage. Whenever the season starts, the Dodgers will get a more resilient Rios.

      3. He did, until suddenly he went 4 for 51. If he’s fixed, 3rd base could OPS close to .900.

  1. Never saw Rios as a full time player. Always seemed to inconsistent, even in minors. But that power would be nice if he can harness it and hit the ball a little more. Barely hitting the mendoza line in his mlb career so far. Always hard to believe a player has suffered a injury for more than several years, but I suspect young guys often try to hide injuries from the team.

  2. Not sure where you found inconsistencies Gordon. He OPS’d well over over .800 in the minors, over .900 his last year at AAA and over .900 for the big club, right up until April of last year. He’s swinging a bat now, so I assume he will be ready. The stats for these type of surgeries on athletes certainly aren’t 100% so all we can do is wish him well. If he isn’t ready, it will be McKinstry to spell Turner and at the moment he isn’t projecting that well. Though his ETA at MLB is 2022, I don’t think Vargas is ready.

    1. Suzuki, the Japanese star who has been posted has played some third base. Supposedly has a spectacular arm and he’s basically been an outfielder for the recent past.
      For those of you who subscribe to The Athletic, there is a very complete article on him today. After reading it, I want him here in L.A………………………………….very badly. He’s got talent (batting average plus power and doesn’t strike out a lot), a great work ethic, wants to learn and explore, gets along very well with his teammates and has a sense of humor. Not the kind of guy who is likely to be overwhelmed by the States, and he’s only 27. Pay him. The estimates are that he’ll get around 5 years @ 10-12 mil per year. Sounds like a bargain.

  3. Jeff, are the Dodgers on the list of teams trying to sign Susuki? I hadn’t read anything linking the two.

    1. The Dodgers have been mentioned as a team who could/should be interested but I’m guessing the Giants might be more interested (in other words I think Farhan might be willing to make him a better offer than Andrew).

      The fact is that Pollock has a 10 million player option next year and if he declines it he gets a 5 mil buyout from the team. So what that means is if AJ thinks he can find a deal of over 5 million he’ll opt out. The only way he doesn’t do that is if he’s injured to the point where he doesn’t think he’ll be able to play in 2023.

      None of our good outfield prospects will be ready for the majors in 2023. We also don’t know what kind of progress Belli will make in getting back to normal this year. We don’t particularly want CT3 as our everyday left fielder. He’s much more valuable if he moves around. We don’t really know if Lux will be our second baseman, an outfielder, a left handed CT3 or trade bait going forward.

      Therefore, to me, it makes all kinds of sense to go after Suzuki.

      1. Pollock put up 3.1 WAR as a 33 year old and did it in 384 at bats.I’m thinking he could do that 3 more times so why wouldn’t he opt out?

  4. I was reading something that caught my eye. Out of all of the great offensive players, Snider, Robinson, Campy Hodges et al, Pee Wee Reese has the highest career WAR for a position player. 68.5. Next is Snider at 65.3. Notable that Kershaw’s WAR is now under 72. It was close to 75 at one time.

    1. Scoop is much more of an expert on WAR than I am, but as far as I know WAR is a cumulative stat rather than one based on average, so I’m not sure I understand how CK’s WAR could have come down. Is it possible you’re comparing bWAR (Baseball Reference) with fWAR (Fanbase)? They have somewhat different ways of calculating, so that might explain the difference.

      1. Scoop don’t understand WAR. Scoop reads things like this and is lost.

        What I know is management in baseball uses the information WAR provides to evaluate current players and with the information gathered from those algorithms tries to put together a collective of players they can afford and can win a lot of games. Some teams, like the Dodgers, have the luxury of being able to afford to take on exorbitant contracts, Trevor Bauer, and at the same time develop their own while other teams, the Rays, have to win with team payrolls that are only slightly above what Bauer makes. Baseball. Made in America.

        WAR is here to stay. It will continue to evolve, and we will try to understand it, but for the average guy, it will remain out of reach.

      2. I am probably totally wrong. Usually am where it comes to stats. I just seem to remember it being higher.

  5. Ok, I’ll do it. From True Blue LA

    Samuel Munoz, 17, 6’2” 180. Ranked #7
    Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

    Munoz, started as a right handed hitter, converted to a hard hitting left-handed-infielder with an advanced approach at the plate and tons of power projection.

    He already shows an above-average ability to barrel up the baseball to all fields, and the thought is the ability will translate into homers in the future as he fills out his large and developing frame. He sprays the ball to all fields with pop.

    Munoz has already come a long way. The teen was first showcased as an outfielder but moved back to his original spot in the infield because of his improved athleticism and quickness. He runs the 60 in 6.6 seconds and has the potential to be a good baserunner. His high baseball IQ and makeup are also noteworthy. He shows good actions in the infield and displays solid arm strength. There’s still a chance he moves to third base because of his size, but it’s too early to tell.

    Accimia Morales, RHP, 17, 6’4” Venezuela Ranked #37

    Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Overall: 50

    Morales is one of the most interesting pitchers on the market and has the type of upside scouts seek.

    Large and durable with a 6-foot-4 frame, Morales shows plus command potential with all three of his pitches. He’s athletic, features a repeatable delivery and has a presence on the mound.

    Specifically, his fastball has been clocked at 93 mph, he throws a hard slider with a sharp break and throws a changeup with lots of movement. His ability to mix up his repertoire while still pounding the strike zone stands out for a prospect his age. He projects to be a mid-rotation starter in the big leagues one day.

    Those are our top 2. Both quite young of course, but tremendous potential. Yankees and Nationals signed the Top 2 rated players. 5 of our top 7 picks were outfielders.

    1. Based on that description of Munoz it’s hard to believe there were 6 guys rated higher than he was. He plays infield, he play’s outfield, he hits right handed, he hits left handed, he hits for average, he’ll eventually hit for power, he’s fast, he has a great baseball IQ. What’s not to like? Only downside is that he isn’t from Venezuela. Everyone knows that all the good players are from Venezuela. Or Spain. Or Russia. Yep, we drafted a player from each of those countries too.

      Morales sounds really promising also. Of course, these kids are so young that the international signings are somewhat of a crapshoot anyway. When I last looked, we had the longest list of signees yesterday. There is strength in numbers and we have the numbers.

      1. Crapshoot covers it. But we allegedly have a highly trained team of scouts and analysts so something good should surface out that group. Get ‘em signed and coach ’em up.

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