The Dodgers made their second round of roster cuts yesterday, parting with five players: Matt Magill, J.C. Boscan, Clint Robinson, Brendan Harris, and Carlos Frias.
Magill figures to be one of the primary options to get called up if injuries plague the rotation. He helped his case a bit with a solid spring, allowing just a run in 5.2 innings while striking out six. Magill will probably be assigned to AAA.
Frias was less experienced against this level of competition and it showed. He gave up five runs in three innings of work this spring, but will look to use this as a learning experience and will probably head back to AA for 2014.
Boscan was always a long shot to make the roster, and was fifth on the depth chart behind Olivo and Butera. Boscan got limited playing time this spring, and he had one hit in four at-bats with two walks. He’ll likely settle in at AAA.
Robinson was an unstoppable force early in spring, and he ended up posting an .826 OPS in 23 at-bats. Most importantly, he put the fear of god into Adrian Gonzalez that he was about to lose his job at first base, thus motivating A-God to his .988 spring OPS. Clint Robinson for President. AAA is calling his name.
Harris was another long-shot to make the team given all the utility bodies in camp, and he didn’t help himself much by posting a .419 OPS in 19 at-bats. He’ll be a solid option to have in reserve at AAA.
All in all, no surprises yet, and the toughest decisions are yet to come. The team still needs to make decisions on the utility infielders, the reserve outfielders, the fifth spot in the rotation, the starter at second base, and also sort out the bullpen crunch.
Given all that, the roster cuts figure to be coming quicker and quicker in the coming days, so it’s worth looking at the guys still in camp without options. They include Scott Elbert, Javy Guerra, and Drew Butera. If cut, the trio would have to clear waivers to remain with the team.
Elbert will remain with the Dodgers, if only because he’s currently injured and on the 60-day DL. The tough decision will come down the road when he’s ready to return.
Barring injury, Butera is almost assured to be cut eventually, as A.J. Ellis and Tim Federowicz have the starter and backup spots locked down. Also, he’s getting the fourth most playing time this spring, behind even Miguel Olivo, and hasn’t helped himself by posting one hit in eight at-bats with two walks. Butera’s a useful defensive option as a third catcher, though a team in need of a backup could pick him up.
Guerra has had a solid spring thus far, even if the peripherals are mediocre. In five appearances and six innings of work, he hasn’t allowed a run while striking out three and walking two. However, the bullpen situation is simply packed at the moment, and the only realistic shot of making the team for him is multiple injuries. So in order for him to be retained, he’ll either need a phantom injury or will need to clear waivers. I still think he could be an effective middle innings guy for someone, but he’s arguably the 10th best reliever in camp, so he belongs in AAA for now.