The Los Angeles Dodgers came out victorious in their Cactus League opener against the Chicago White Sox on Friday by a final score of 13-5. While the offense contributed four home runs, the Dodgers’ pitching staff also held their own during the contest.
With the exception of a three-run home run allowed by C.C. Lee in the second inning, the Los Angeles group of arms allowed just two more runs along the way — both unearned.
There are many intriguing pitchers in camp, which figures to leave manager Dave Robert with some tough decisions as Opening Day inches closer.
Furthermore, Roberts revealed that the Dodgers plan on utilizing an eight-man bullpen during the regular season, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
The Dodgers plan to use an eight-man bullpen, Dave Roberts said.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) February 23, 2018
Last season, the Dodgers primarily deployed a traditional seven-man bullpen for much of the year. Should the club follow through with their plan and carry an eight-man bullpen into the regular season, that will leave them with a four-man bench.
As it currently stands, Scott Alexander, Tony Cingrani, Tom Koehler and Kenley Jansen would appear to be the only locks in the bullpen.
Veterans Pedro Baez and Josh Fields figure to get serious looks as well, depending on their performance in Spring Training. Yimi Garcia, fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, emerges as a potential wild card if he proves to stay healthy.
The Dodgers are flush with additional pitching depth beyond the aforementioned names. Brock Stewart and Ross Stripling provide versatility and will be under consideration, given they both have Major League experience in the rotation and bullpen.
A number of non-roster invitees in camp, including veteran Mark Lowe and switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, will also have opportunities to make the team. Right-hander J.T. Chargois, who was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins and added to the 40-man roster, is another possible option.