As the 2020 roster conjecture is just beginning to heat up, one of the early conversations stirring surrounds how the Dodgers might handle the future duties at catcher.
At the beginning of 2019 spring training, no one knew for sure who would be patrolling the keystone for the Dodgers by the time Opening Day rolled around. Many felt that it would be a combination of players. Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor would battle it out for the bulk of playing time while Max Muncy—who was considered a defensive liability by many—was also in the mix for reps.
Quickly approaching is the time of the year when the baseball blogosphere is flooded with many versions of minor league prospect rankings. Despite several significant departures at last year’s trade deadlines, the Dodgers are still regarded as having one of the better farm systems in the majors, and it should be interesting to see where the Los Angeles prospects fall in line this year in terms of a league-wide comparison.
While many fans of the Dodgers probably think a conversation about next year’s catching picture is irrelevant, there are certainly a few relative factors that play into the remainder of the 2018 season’s landscape. The four biggest questions which pertain to many of the upcoming discussions over the winter are whether or not management will pursue a contact with Yasmani Grandal, if the coaching staff will ever trust Kyle Farmer defensively behind the plate, if Austin Barnes‘ 2018 season is simply an anomaly, and whether or not Will Smith can hit big league pitching.
If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll know that occasionally we like to pick a position on the Dodgers‘ farm and discuss exactly how much minor league depth there is at that particular position. About twice per year, we take a look at catcher and analyze the top handful of prospects in the system. Up until recently, Keibert Ruiz normally headlined the list; however, at the midway point of 2018, the versatile Will Smith has seemingly overtaken Ruiz and could be on a super-fast track to the big leagues.
A sickness has been sweeping the Dodgers clubhouse, causing as many as 25 players to be sent home from Camelback Ranch the last few days. Thursday’s scheduled starting pitcher Ross Stripling was scratched due to the as-of-now mysterious illness. Manny Banuelos instead gets the start, a pitcher this writer has never heard of.
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 there aren’t an overwhelming number of trade rumors surrounding the Dodgers as this winter’s hot stove approaches, there has been a bit of conjecture regarding catcher Yasmani Grandal and whether or not he’ll last the entire season in Los Angeles.
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.