Tossing around a few ideas for Sunday’s column, my initial plan was to take a crack at optimizing the Dodgers‘ current bullpen crew, at least from a standpoint of which pitchers are the most capable. However, the way the club’s 25-man roster personnel is being handled these days, it sometimes boils down to whomever has the freshest of arms, especially with regard to who’s on the current 40-man roster.
As the players on the 25-man roster seemingly continue to drop like flies, the Dodgers are still finding ways to win baseball games. Thanks mainly to a red-hot offense, the team has won 16 of its last 21 games and are now one game above the .500 mark for the first time since April 23.
The never ending rotating arms traveling from the DL to the Dodgers to Oklahoma City and back again continues. On Friday night, the Dodgers announced that switch-pitcher Pat Venditte and left handed Adam Liberatore were recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City, Brock Stewart was optioned back to OKC, and Dennis Santana was placed on the 10-Day disabled list retroactive to June 5.
Ahead of the series finale in Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday morning recalled right-handed pitcher Pedro Baez and left-handed pitcher Edward Paredes from Triple-A Oklahoma City. To create room on the active roster, the Dodgers placed left-handed reliever Tony Cingrani on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain and optioned left-handed pitcher Caleb Ferguson back to OKC.
The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Caleb Ferguson from Triple-A Oklahoma City, with the youngster slated to make his big league debut with a start against the Pirates.
While many fans apparently had a hint that the move was coming, the Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon officially recalled right-handed pitcher Dennis Santana from Triple-A Oklahoma City after placing Kenta Maeda on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip strain.
With the Dodgers having won six of their last seven games, there’s really not much for fans to complain about these days, especially since the team is now only 3-1/2 games out of the division lead. However, when considering the overall scope of the 25-man roster, many people familiar with the club are still wondering if the team is indeed using the best available players at the big league level.
Although starting pitching isn’t the main part of the problem for the 2018 Dodgers, it is one of those areas which could have a significant impact on the success of the club for the remainder of the season. Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was one of the squad’s strongest starters before his groin problem, is out until at least July. Clayton Kershaw still has no timetable set for a potential return. And when considering the injury history of veteran Rich Hill, many fans have been scanning the box scores of Triple-A Oklahoma City every morning just to see what kind of talent’s available on the farm—just in case.