The Los Angeles Dodgers have several young players looking to make an impact in 2019. Alex Verdugo could become an everyday outfielder, joining Cody Bellinger. Barring something catastrophic, Walker Buehler will crack the opening day roster.
Corey Seager will finally return from Tommy John Surgery. Caleb Ferguson may fly under the radar compared to the rest of his teammates, but given how much the Dodgers have valued rotation depth, he similarly could play a big role this season.
The former 38th-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft saw a whirlwind 2018 end up with him as a part of the Dodgers bullpen in the playoffs. He did not allow a run over six combined appearances in the National League Division Series and NL Championship Series, helped by some advice from Sandy Koufax on how to better spin a curveball.
Ferguson is preparing to pick up where he left off once the 2019 season starts, sharing his goals an interview with MLB Network:
“For the most part staying healthy is No. 1 for me. And then No. 2, whatever I can do to help the team win. Whether that’s a bullpen role or spot start, starter, whatever I can do to help the team win and get to the World Series.”
Ferguson also revealed that he has sought advice from veteran left-handers Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill while in the big leagues. Additionally, Ferguson has had conversations with manager Dave Roberts and the Dodgers front office about his role for 2019.
Ferguson likely will not get a spot in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season except in the event of an injury. That said, the Dodgers’ rotation depth did take a hit when Alex Wood was dealt to the Cincinnatti Reds last December.
Regardless of whether he is a starter or a reliever, Ferguson could see plenty of time in the big leagues in 2019, with some of the best left-handers in baseball history supporting him.