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.
With the arrival of spring camp just a mere two weeks away, the Dodgers on Tuesday afternoon announced the list of 22 players who will be non-roster invites.
While the Dodgers left the 2017 Winter Meetings with only a consolation prize of a mid-level infield prospect, many fans have taken to social media to express their respective concerns heading into 2018, especially in the area of the bullpen. It took several years for the team to finally find a competent setup man in Brandon Morrow, yet the veteran righty was able to walk away from Los Angeles and land a lucrative deal with the Cubs for the next several seasons. Andrew Friedman and his troops seem fairly confident in the internal relief options heading into 2018 spring training, but questions loom as to whether the impending bullpen will be talented enough to help guide the squad into next season’s playoff picture.
While the Dodgers didn’t have much interest in participating in the big league portion of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning, they did take part in the minor league part of the draft, eventually claiming utility man Angelo Mora before the Winter Meetings came to a close.
With the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline almost at the two-week mark, much of the recent chatter in the Dodgers‘ camp has been about potentially acquiring help for the bullpen. Plenty of prospective additions have been tossed around the baseball blogosphere thus far, however, if the availability of some of the better relievers eventually dissipates, there may be a few options that the club could decide to utilize from within. And while much of the speculation has suggested the need for a left-handed pitcher, it just might be one of the righty kids on the farm who makes the biggest difference in the end.
Even if the Dodgers don’t make a huge splash before next month’s non-waiver trade deadline, the club’s 40-man roster may take on a bit of a different look before the big league 25-man rosters expand in early September.
When the Dodgers are faced with the task of replacing lefty pitcher Julio Urias on the 40-man roster sometime in the very near future, the club will have many worthy candidates from which to select, but considering the big league squad’s immediate needs and the players who appear to be most ready, reliever Joe Broussard could be the obvious choice.
As we have already taken a look at possible upgrades for both the offensive and starting pitching departments of the Dodgers last week, we thought it’s probably also a good time to analyze at the club’s bullpen needs with less than six weeks before the non-waiver trade deadline.
While many fans of the Dodgers have recently been mulling over the numerous roster transactions and watching the Boys in Blue hover around the .500 mark, it’s been business as usual down on the farm, where a handful of blue chippers are on the rise across several different levels of the organization.
When long man Alex Wood was recently shifted back into the starting rotation and righty Josh Fields was recalled to the big league bullpen, a popular topic of conversation among fans of the Dodgers was the discussion surrounding the organizational depth of relief pitchers.