To what should be no surprise to anyone, the Dodgers have a full 40-man roster. They’ve been operating this way almost immediately since Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi took over the baseball operations department. This year, though, it seems like the September call-ups could be both a little more interesting and unexpected.
Here’s a list of healthy 40-man roster players who aren’t on the active roster.
All of these guys should get a promotion come September. They may not all come up on Sept. 1, but the locks (to me) to be recalled on that day are Farmer, Liberatore (provided he’s healthy), Locastro and Stewart. Since the Dodgers have a glut of outfielders, I’m not sure Toles and Verdugo come up right away (especially since OKC is fighting for a playoff berth). Both Toles and Verdugo could provide a spark, but there’s not an immediate opening for either of them. Instead of them wallowing on the bench for the first part of the month, it’d make more sense for them to play for OKC Dodgers (1 1/2 games ahead in their division) in the postseason, should they make it.
Urias is the wild card here. His rehab is up and he can be recalled at anytime. The Dodgers have talked about using him in a multi-inning relief role, but his results in the minors have been mixed (5.19 ERA, 3.1 HR/9, 42.8 K%), so expecting a lot out of him next month might be foolhardy. Regardless, Urias should be up on Sept. 1 if for no other reason than he is far too good for minor-league competition.
And here are players on the 60-day disabled list.
With the 40-man roster full, the Dodgers will need to make space for, well, maybe just Fields. He’s currently rehabbing with Oklahoma City. Koehler and Seager are out for the season, while Santana is rehabbing at Camelback Ranch. He just started throwing off the mound, so I’m not exactly counting on him to come back this season. If he does, then that’ll be a bonus.
The guys on the fringes of the 40-man roster include Yimi Garcia, Liberatore, Locastro, Zac Rosscup (despite the immaculate inning), Rob Segedin and Pat Venditte. I’m not sure the Dodgers are ready to give up on Garcia and Rosscup just yet, so they’re probably safe. Liberatore might not be good anymore, but he’s left-handed and has a pulse, so he’s probably safe. Locastro seems like a specialist for pinch-running, so he’s also probably safe. I’m one of the low guys on Venditte and wouldn’t be at all upset if his 40-man spot was cleared, but the front office is likely to keep him around because it likes him. That leaves Segedin as the odd man out.
Segedin has been on the MiLB DL since June 19 with an injury. Even while healthy, he had just a .623 OPS in 114 plate appearances. With the emergence of Max Muncy and the potential offseason 40-man roster additions of Matt Beaty, Connor Joe and/or Edwin Rios, the writing is basically on the wall for Segey.
Something unexpected (my own speculation) is the fact the Dodgers could look to add non-roster players to the 40-man. Here’s the short list (they’re all pitchers):
Banuelos, a former top prospect with the Yankees, was an All-Star in the Pacific Coast this season as a starting pitcher. As a starter, he had a 3.55 ERA in the hitter-friendly PCL. He also struck out 109 hitters in 91 1/3 innings (28.1 K%). At the beginning of August, the Dodgers moved him to the bullpen. In 14 innings, he has 17 strikeouts against just four walks. He’s pitching about the same as he was as a starter. Banuelos isn’t a top prospect anymore. He’s 27 years old, so the Dodgers aren’t trying to limit his innings. This was a calculated move by the front office in case Cingrani doesn’t come back, Rosscup’s injury is worse than expected (it probably isn’t) and Liberatore just isn’t good anymore (he probably isn’t).
Paredes was on the 40-man earlier this season, so there’s still a chance he could be added if the Dodgers need a lefty reliever. Schlittler wasn’t, but he has a nearly 68 percent ground ball rate out of the OKC bullpen, and with the Dodgers’ newfound fascination with relievers who can get grounders, there’s a non-zero chance he’d be in the conversation for a September call-up.
Corcino, like Paredes, was on the 40-man roster earlier this season. He threw four innings in LA before getting designated for assignment. His overall numbers on the season are solid, so like Paredes, there’s a chance he could be on a short list.
Sborz is going to be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason, so adding him this month should the opportunity present itself wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. He’s posting a 29 percent strikeout rate with OKC and 31.4 percent overall in 2018.
The other interesting non-roster guy who could get a look is Neal. He was in camp with the Dodgers before being traded to the Reds in April. He came back in the Dylan Floro deal in July, so it seems the front office has an affinity for him. Since coming back to the organization, he has a 4.30 ERA, .696 OPS and a 51 GB% with OKC. He’s probably less likely to be added than a guy like Banuelos or Paredes, but he’s also more likely than the other players listed.
Reinforcements are coming soon. And unlike last season, the Dodgers kinda need them this season. It’ll be interesting to see if the Dodgers add anyone not currently on the 40-man roster or 60-day DL. Baneulos could be interesting. I’m not holding my breath, though.