Can Jake Lamb Earn Spot on Dodgers’ 2022 Opening Day Roster?

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.

28 thoughts on “Can Jake Lamb Earn Spot on Dodgers’ 2022 Opening Day Roster?

  1. I think it’s a different world this year with the Dh and short spring season. Less need for a bench and more need for pitchers. I’d be surprised if they don’t use both spots for pitcher depth. Also the revolving door to the farm now has some new restrictions on it. To me it wouldn’t make sense to add another marginal bench piece to an already weak bench. To replace somebody on the bench would make more sense.

      1. Not much room to change. you have to have a catcher and Barnsy is a great defensive catcher calls a good game and sometimes can hit. Rios IMHO deserves a shot as he was really good in 2020 and has shown he has rehabbed and is swinging the bat well. Lux needs to get some at bats to prove his minor league numbers were not a fluke. I think he will be fine. The only call was Alberto who has hit lefties well in his career. Frankly I would prefer Tio Alberto Pujols as he hit lefties well and adds an instant HOF pedigree to the bench. Pujols was a great mentor. Lamb has swung the bat well and might have figured out his swing after the injury and rehab. But Lamb even when he was an All Star was a power guy not a contact guy. What do you want off the bench? How many pitchers will they carry? How many spots will there actually be? i would send Lamb, McKinstry and everyone else down as insurance. Rios and Lux need at bats in the MLB to prove up.

      2. I don’t see any other possibility.
        When you have potentially questionable starters like Heaney, Gonsolin and Anderson (and even Kershaw for that matter) taking up 40-60 percent of your rotation, you need all the extra arms you can muster.
        If Catman reverts back to his best self it will be a huge help. Here’s hoping.

  2. I think he accepts assignment to AAA, waiting for an injury to JT, where he may get some more MLB time.
    Probably same with Pillar.

    1. Heaney has not engendered confidence. He hangs a lot of pitches. Spin rate doesn’t matter if it’s hanging over the plate!! Gonsolin has looked great.

      1. Heaney has looked awful.
        Gonsolin has looked great.
        It’s only been two games.

      2. It’s only been two games that we have seen. We do not see his side work. We all have heard his stats and spin rates But Heaney’s kryptonite has been giving up the HR and he is continuing to do that. His allowed home runs have been blasts from hanging pitches which has been his problem all along.

  3. On a different subject Bellinger is scaring me…. Doc gave him the dreaded words of encouragement yesterday same stuff as last year when he hit .163. he is just missing! Have you watched his at bats? My DVR has slow down on the image when I go back to re-watch something. He isn’t a little off he is moving his head and isn’t close just like last year except for the playoffs. I hope he pulls his head out and figures it out. He seems to be a mental case constantly messing with his stance and swing.

    1. I still want to know what changed for him last year in the playoffs.
      Was it just a lucky streak?
      Did he change his mental approach?
      If he changed something physically (which I believe he did), why the heck isn’t he still doing it?
      He said today that he’s just getting all of his strike outs out of the way before the season starts. Problem is he may have far more k’s in his bat than he realizes.

      1. Sometimes early spectacular success is a very bad thing for a young person. I am hoping that is not Bellinger. As I stated I have watched him slo-mo and it’s not pretty. These are not top pitchers generally and they are not working on a plan to attack a particular hitter. The pitchers are working on their pitches and stretching out the work to pitch longer. What happens in an actual game with top pitchers with a game plan to attack each hitter’s weakness? I am getting the bad feeling he is a mental case.

    2. Rick Monday addressed Bellinger’s issues in the post game show and nailed it. His head is moving, which contributes to not seeing the spin, he keeps changing things up, nothing is working so his confidence is shot. If this keeps up he may need to start in AAA.

      How do the contracts of Lamb and Pillar read? If they get offers can they leave? Both look ready to play at the ML level and we don’t have room for them. Roster Resource reads it the same way I do.

      I think another solid starter would ease some pressures on bullpen needs and roster assignments. Heaney, Anderson and Price, all of whom I was looking to for help, don’t have much time left to show they can be counted on. A move on Montas might be the answer.

      1. Nobody seems to know what the story is with the A’s willingness to move Manaea and Montas. Some feel they’ll wait until July in the hopes that desperate teams will offer more.

        Scoop, which of our top 5 prospects are you willing to include in a Montas deal because I think that’s what it would take. That plus a couple of others.

      2. Good question. After their haul for Olson I have no idea what they would be looking for, other than talent. If they want pitching I’d give them Jackson and or White. I’d also probably give Pepiot. If we are going to keep Turner, Eddys Leonard or Wilman Diaz would be a good talent for them. Outman would no doubt interest them. Put it this way, I wouldn’t give a lot of top prospects for a guy who will be looking to cash in in ‘24. For two years he’s worth one top prospect and a few out of the Top 10. If he’s really available they would want someone who could replace him plus 2 more with upside. And they might wait until the deadline.

        We still have some guys who could step up and step in. One of Heaney, Anderson and Price are still the most likely to be selected. Gulp. Jackson, White, Pepiot and few other NRI’s are no doubt in the mix, but so many have pitched only a couple of innings and nobody is standing out.

      3. If you’re willing to include Pepiot I think you could put a deal together.

        I have no clue what Andrew’s feelings are about extending Trea, but I hope that gets settled before the trade deadline, one way or the other. I think if he goes to free agency, he’s gone, and if we manage to extend him, that definitely opens up a couple of other prospects for trade. Leonard, Vivas and Diaz is probably more duplication than we need and one could certainly be included in a deadline trade for Montas or whomever.

  4. I don’t see the pre or post game as I am on MLB. That is what I see watching slo-mo his head is bobbing so his ability to recognize pitches is off. He might as well be closing his eyes and swinging! He was better choking up and not swinging to hit the ball out of the state!
    I agree on the pitching but as much as I dislike Bauer as a person I think he will be back. If they need more pitching I would use Jackson, White, Grove they are on the 40 man roster. Duffy and May should be back end of season for some brief spots.

    1. I think they’ve officially made Grove into a reliever at this point, but don’t forget about Fulmer. He isn’t ready to contribute yet but if they let him stretch out at OKC he could still be of help in the next few months. That, of course, is assuming they’ve actually been able to fix some of the problems he’s had.

      1. Yes I agree Fulmer looked good. He was a stud at Vandy. Maybe Buehler can help the coaches fix his buddy!!

  5. Fulmer was sent down as was Pepiot. Lousy game today. Heaney got lit up again Spring ERA over 16. Pujols is going back to the Cardinals on a one year deal and the D-Backs are extending Marte for 5 years and 72 million. Surprised he is going that cheap.

    1. I believe Marte has 2 opt outs in that deal. As soon as the first one comes up, he’ll take it if he’s been performing at his normal level and hasn’t been seriously injured.
      By taking this deal, he’s secure for life, just in case he gets injured or pulls a Bellinger.

      1. Marte has already earned over $15 million, (plus $8 million this year) so he’s set for life without playing another down. I didn’t read an opt out in that contract, just club options. I could be wrong about that. Arizona has a couple of athletic outfielders, both of whom could be ready this year, most likely next year. They’ve also got a SS ranked pretty high but still young. Arizona needs pitching.

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