One of several different looks that 2022 Opening Day will see is 28 players on each club’s active roster. This rule will last through the month of April and was primarily created because of the limited time pitchers will have to prepare for the season. While many teams may load up on pitchers, each club can use these extra roster spots as they wish.
These additional spots give the Dodgers a little more flexibility when it comes to roster selection. Last weekend, we talked a little about Gavin Lux and his potential contributions to the thinness of the Los Angeles outfield. In theory, the Dodgers could use one of these extra spots to juice up the bench and provide outfield assurance.
One player who has certainly been getting his fair share of looks so far this spring is Jake Lamb. After a promising beginning to his career, Lamb began falling apart after a severe shoulder injury in 2018. The Dodgers signed Lamb to a minors deal a few weeks ago, giving the 31-year-old lefty hitter a shot at earning $1.5 million if he makes the big-league roster.
As a non-roster invitee to spring camp, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Seattle native has looked impressive at the plate in 2022 Cactus League play. Heading into Sunday’s action, he has gone 8-for-18 at the plate with two homers, mainly seeing time at first base, right field and designated hitter.
At the peak of his career, it looked like Lamb would hold down the regular third base spot for the Diamondbacks for many years. One year before his injury, he hit 30 doubles, 30 homers and drove in 105 runs on route to his first and only All-Star selection.
Since having shoulder surgery, Lamb has played for three additional clubs — the Athletics, White Sox and Blue Jays — with hopes of getting his career back on track. However, he has slashed just .193/.309/.358 over the last three seasons.
For the White Sox last year, Lamb appeared in 16 games in left field and nine games in right field and could conceivably provide the Dodgers some depth in the outfield if the club decides to give him a shot. In his time with the ChiSox and Blue Jays combined in 2021, he also made 16 appearances at third base.
Even though there’s less then two weeks before Opening Day, there are still a few spots up for grabs on the Los Angeles active roster. The fact that Lamb has been playing nearly every day suggests that the club is serious about giving him every opportunity he can to earn a big-league spot.