As the spring training reporting dates for players are drawing ever so near, there haven’t been a typically high number of story lines surrounding the Dodgers so far, outside of a few potentially tight positional battles at catcher and left field. Many people don’t expect much to happen during the time between the first squad workout on February 19 and the Cactus League opener against the White Sox on February 23, but we made a list of five things to look for during the early days of camp, which could impact the landscape of the squad come Opening Day.
The Dodgers are masters of the unexpected. They win when many have begun to lose faith, and they cultivate talent that few knew they had. At the start of the 2017 season, we were unaware as to what kind of reliever Brandon Morrow would become, but come October, he was pitching in high-leverage situations during nearly every postseason game.
When the Dodgers began their regular season campaign last year, starting pitching was at such a premium that the best five pitchers on the club weren’t even in the Opening Day rotation. Lefty phenom Julio Urias began the year in extended spring training in an effort to conserve innings, while southpaw Alex Wood was forced to start his year in the big league bullpen. There was also a ton of marginal depth with arms like Brock Stewart and Trevor Oaks on the fringe, and experienced guys like Justin Masterson, Wilmer Font, Fabio Castillo and Jair Jurrjens providing depth at Triple-A Oklahoma City. There was even hope for Scott Kazmir to join the major league rotation at some point, once his ailing hip healed and he sharpened his throwing mechanics.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees are historic. The Dodgers and the Yankees, who once played 15 miles from each other, have become the class of their respective leagues. Nearly 63 years after the Dodgers beat the Bronx Bombers in the 1955 World Series, the teams are embarking on different paths.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced the completion of a three-team trade with the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals. The Dodgers received left-handed pitcher Scott Alexander from the Royals and minor league infielder Jake Peter from the White Sox. Chicago received left-handed pitcher Luis Avilan, right-handed pitcher Joakim Soria and cash considerations, while Kansas City received infielder Erick Mejia and right-handed pitcher Trevor Oaks.
For those of you who are frequent visitors to our site, you’ll already know that we’ve always been keen on putting together plenty of posts featuring 25-man roster projections for the Dodgers, especially long before players report to camp. This winter is no different. As it stands now, there are exactly 47 days before pitchers and catchers convene in the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch, and if the player personnel stays relatively the same, we can easily put together a somewhat accurate roster prediction right now—at least for the sake of building a foundation.
When considering the few holes in the Dodgers‘ prospective 25-man roster for the upcoming season, many fans are quick to point out the needs for starting pitching, bullpen help or even some type of power bat in the middle of the lineup. However, we’ve been talking for a few months about the potential requirement for a left-handed hitting middle infielder, most specifically a body to pair with Logan Forsythe at second base.
Shohei Ohtani is an Angel. Giancarlo Stanton is a Yankee. The Dodgers? They’re still the reigning National League Champions. I think most of us believed that at least one of the two, Ohtani or Stanton, would become Dodgers. If not both. Then again, a logical case couldn’t be made for either. Ohtani wants to hit and pitch, something an AL team would be able to help him do better than a National League team. As for Stanton, the Dodgers wanted to decrease payroll, and couldn’t match the deal that the Yankees offered the Marlins.