A Few Notable Notes on Dodgers’ 2020 Spring Training NRI List

If you happened to miss the news on Thursday afternoon, the Dodgers announced their list of 21 non-roster players who were invited to the big league side of spring training, which happened to be the exact number of NRIs the team welcomed to camp in 2019.

In 2018, the team invited 24 players to major league camp who were not part of the 40-man roster.

Among this year’s invitees were three catchers, four infielders, five outfielders and nine pitchers.

Catchers—Rocky Gale, Jose Lobaton, Connor Wong

Infielders—Jacob Amaya, Jeter Downs, Omar Estevez, Cristian Santana

Outfielders—Anthony Garcia, Connor Joe, Jeren Kendall, Zach Reks, Cody Thomas

Pitchers—Brett de Geus, Josiah Gray, Reymin Guduan, Marshall Kasowski, Kyle Lobstein, Zach McAllister, Edubray Ramos, Jordan Sheffield, Edwin Uceta

Estevez is the only returning player who was invited from last year’s group not currently part of the club’s 40-man roster. Notable players who were among the 2019 NRIs but were not invited this year include Joe Broussard and Jake Peter.

The NRI veteran crew includes Gale, Lobaton, Lobstein, Ramos, Guduan and Garcia.

With Keibert Ruiz presumably not quite ready for big league, regular season action, Gale may conceivably be the first catcher called up in the event to an injury to either Will Smith or Austin Barnes.

The 30-year-old Lobstein has not thrown a pitch in the majors since the 2016 season with the Pirates. Last year, he threw for Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League on the Oakland farm. In 2018, the Dodgers snagged the lefty starter as a minor league free agent.

Ramos is a hard-throwing righty reliever who spent last season with the Phillies. Last season, the 27-year-old Venezuelan native made 20 appearances at the major league level, posting a 5.40 ERA with 11 strikeouts over an even 11 innings of work.

Guduan, a reliever capable of hitting triple digits, was suspended for a “disciplinary issue” for the second half of the season last year for the Astros and was subsequently DFA’d in September. The Dodgers signed the Dominican native to a minor league deal in December.

Among several notable prospects to watch are Downs, Santana, Reks, de Geus, Gray, Kasowski and Sheffield. Both Santana and Sheffield were Rule 5 eligible at the draft during 2019’s winter meetings, but neither were snagged by rival teams.

In the 2019 Arizona Fall League, the 21-year-old de Geus appeared in eight games and did not surrender an earned run. Over 9-1/3 innings pitched, the righty allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out an impressive 11 batters.

Not far behind teammate Gavin Lux, Downs was recently ranked among the Top 10 shortstops in baseball.

Arguably, Kasowski might currently be the top reliever on the Los Angeles farm.

Across two levels of the farm last season, Reks slashed .291/.385/.536 with 28 homers, 21 doubles and 93 RBI over 121 games. The 26-year-old lefty hitter earned Texas League Player of the Week honors in late April and was eventually honored as a milb.com organizational All-Star.

In 26 appearances last season between Low-A Great Lakes, High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Tulsa, Gray finished with an 11-2 record and a 2.70 ERA with 147 strikeouts against just 31 walks. The team named the New York native the 2019 Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year last September.

 

What Should Dodgers Expect from Clayton Kershaw in 2020?

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There’s probably no other player on the Dodgers‘ active roster scrutinized more than lefty starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. When he was at the peak of his game just a few years ago, many folks rivaled his success with the legendary Sandy Koufax; but now that he is on the backside of his impressive career, there are actually some fans who feel he’s not even worthy of a rotation slot.

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Dodgers Reportedly Sign Alex Wood

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(Los Angeles Times photo)

Almost exactly like we hypothesized a little over a week ago, the Dodgers reportedly signed Alex Wood to a one-year deal on Sunday, which coincidentally was Wood’s 29th birthday.

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What Role Will Matt Beaty Play in 2020?

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(Getty Images photo)

With five weeks remaining before pitchers and catchers begin filing into the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch, there’s still a bit of time remaining for the Dodgers to enhance their player roster with a prospective trade or free agent signing. However, when considering its existing core of players, the club remains one of the most formidable powerhouses in the National League, although building a squad to succeed deep into the playoffs is a completely different story.

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Cody Bellinger Snags Record-Breaking Deal to Avoid Arbitration

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Cody Bellinger and the Dodgers on Friday evening agreed to a one-year deal worth a reported $11.5 million, setting a record for all MLB players who were arbitration eligible for the first time.

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Contemplating a Potential Jeter Downs Move to Third Base

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(Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports)

Long before the rumors began circulating about the Dodgers being interested in acquiring players like Anthony Rendon, Josh Donaldson and Kris Bryant, there were plenty of fans discussing what the team believed its long-term solution at third base to be, especially when considering that 2020 is the final year of veteran Justin Turner‘s contract.

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A Little Background on Jimmy Nelson

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(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Following some patterns of our recent discussions, the Dodgers on Tuesday morning reportedly signed pitcher Jimmy Nelson to a one-year contract.

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Dodgers Prospects Setting Up Team for Long-Term Success

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A lot has been written about the lack of moves the Dodgers’ front office has made so far this offseason. In a recent article in the LA Times, part-owner and team president Stan Kasten took on the accusation that the team, up until now, has been “cheap.”

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Dodgers Sign Justin De Fratus

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(Rich Crimi/MiLB.com)

Just like we’ve been predicting over the past week or so, the Dodgers are beginning to sign veteran arms to serve as depth for their top minor league clubs.

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What Lies Ahead for Austin Barnes?

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(Getty Images photo)

Not long after the Dodgers were eliminated from the 2019 postseason, one of the most popular topics of discussion was the team’s immediate plans at catcher, specifically which player would backup Will Smith.

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