Baseball is happening! Pitchers and catchers — most of them, anyway — are already in Dodger camp, ready to get to work. But maybe that should say “pitchers and pitchers and pitchers and catchers,” because with Paul Maholm now in the mix… good lord, that’s a lot of pitchers in camp.
32, to be exact, and while some are obviously just getting a camp look, that’s a still a giant number of names, and it gets hard to keep them all straight. While we’ll get to the rotation and bullpen later on in our spring position previews, which start tomorrow, let’s try to at least get a handle on just how all of these guys break down.
Obvious big leaguers (10): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, Dan Haren, Kenley Jansen, Paco Rodriguez, Brian Wilson, Jamey Wright, Chris Perez, J.P. Howell
It’d take injury or disaster to keep them off the roster.
Fighting for a spot (5): Josh Beckett, Maholm, Chris Withrow, Javy Guerra, Brandon League
This is splitting hairs, maybe, because both Beckett and Maholm have big league contracts, a sizable one in Beckett’s case, and Maholm is open to pitching out of the bullpen. So maybe this is more “fighting for a rotation spot” than a job, but there’s still some question about how this shakes out. League probably falls under the same category — the team won’t DFA him, but I’m sure they want to — and Guerra is still fighting to prove himself. Withrow deserves a roster spot, but may find himself squeezed to start the year.
Even if you discount Withrow and Guerra here, that’s still 13 pitchers, and it’s tough to see that being a standard this season.
You couldn’t be in a worse place to be a Rule 5 pick (1): Seth Rosin
Sorry, Seth. The more I hear about you the more I like you, but there’s just no room at this inn.
DL’d or headed there (2): Scott Elbert, Chad Billingsley
Elbert recently had his appendix removed and was placed on the 60-day DL yesterday as he continues to work back from Tommy John surgery. Billingsley, recovering from his own zipper, will certainly join Elbert on the DL before the season starts.
Thanks for stopping by (14): Pedro Baez, Sam Demel, Jose Dominguez, Stephen Fife, Onelki Garcia, Yimi Garcia, Carlos Frias, Zach Lee, Matt Magill, Jarret Martin, Daniel Moskos, Red Patterson, Chris Reed, Ross Stripling
A combination of the organization’s top non-Julio Urias pitching prospects and your usual non-roster invites, this group probably comprises the majority of Albuquerque’s pitching staff to start the season. We’ve seen several of these guys before, and should see at least half of them in the bigs this year. Don’t hold your breath on Onelki Garcia, however, who is reportedly “behind schedule” in his rehab from elbow surgery.