Spring Notes: 6 more cut, Bellinger & Heaney struggle, Rios & Alvarez continue to impress

While I didn’t plan on having new cuts to announce every time I did these, I guess the accelerated schedule is making that a reality. In fact, the Dodgers had two separate cuts since the last one of these, optioning pitcher Michael Grove and reassigning a total of five other pitchers to the minors in Ryan Pepiot, Carson Fulmer, Darien Nunez, Mike Wright, and Beau Burrows.

The Dodgers now have 45 players in camp, and since teams can start the year with 28 players on the roster due to the late start to Spring Training, they have only 17 more cuts to make.

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Edwin Rios continues to look like he might be back to his pre-2021 self, which would be a gigantic boost to the bench. People forget fast, but before he tried to play with a destroyed shoulder, he had a .260/.338/.634/.972 career line. He’s 5-for-11 with pop and without swing-and-miss so far.

A former first-round pick of the White Sox in 2015, Fulmer bounced around three teams the last two years and now finds himself on the Dodgers. While he has been honestly terrible in his MLB career so far, the stuff was never in doubt, so there’s certainly hope that his potential can be realized in some role. Three scoreless innings so far and looks good.

Pepiot’s Spring Training got off to a rough start (2 IP, 6 R), but he showed why he’s a top prospect in his follow-up outing.

Eddy Alvarez wasn’t somebody I expected to be a contributor to the roster crunch, but he has done nothing but absolutely kill the ball and has played himself into relevancy. He’s being given an extended run, and still has a 1.151 OPS so far.

On paper, Grove has been rather terrible as a professional (7.12 ERA). However, as Josh pointed out last year, Grove seems to have turned the corner in his development and I’m anticipating a much better 2022 from him.

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Some notes thanks to Statcast that one game.

Caleb Ferguson: He averaged 93.4 mph on his fastball, which is down basically two ticks from his dominant 2020 level. I assume this is why he won’t be ready for Opening Day.

Reyes Moronta: There was some hope that perhaps he could get back to his Giants days, but not so much anymore. Good news? He’s up a tick to 94.6 mph. Bad news? That’s still almost three ticks down from when he was effective. And he wasn’t in this outing.

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Notable statistical showings, for better or worse.

Cody Bellinger: 3-for-19, 14 K

Man, I know it’s Spring Training, so I don’t pay too much attention to normal slumps or whatever. But this is … I mean the stat line looks bad and the at-bats arguably look worse.

Zach McKinstry: 4-for-13, .785 OPS

Still believe in the hit tool, though I wonder about his chances to stick as utility guy with the crowded roster now.

Freddie Freeman: 4-for-11, 1 HR, 1.000 OPS

Jake Lamb: 8-for-19, 2 2B, 2 HR, 1.292 OPS

Andrew Heaney: 5.1 IP, 10 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Less than ideal, but I guess he’s missing some bats and not walking guys. Still, not exactly inspiring confidence from a guy who still needs to do convincing.

Andre Jackson: 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Nothing I’m concerned about.

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times