The Los Angeles Dodgers received contributions from 10 rookies and first-year players during the 2019 season, ranging from significant to minimal. Will Smith and Alex Verdugo perhaps most stood out among position players, while Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May additionally thrived on the pitching side in either role asked of them.
Another right-hander that made his long-awaited debut was Josh Sborz. The 25-year-old was selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft and progressively worked his way through the Minor League ranks to earn multiple looks this past season.
Sborz began his 2019 campaign with Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he thrived upon receiving his first big league promotion in June. Sborz made just one appearance for the Dodgers that month, yielding three baserunners and three runs in an inning against the San Francisco Giants.
He was sent back down to Oklahoma City, remaining with the Dodgers’ top Minor League affiliate for roughly a month before rejoining the Major League team at the end of July. Sborz allowed three runs on four hits in his return against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, leading to another demotion after the game.
When rosters expanded in September, Sborz earned yet another cup of coffee with the Dodgers. He was rather effective this time around, giving up just two runs in five appearances during the month.
In eight overall appearances at the MLB level, Sborz posted an 8.00 ERA, 5.88 FIP and 1.56 WHIP across nine innings of work. He was slightly better at Triple-A Oklahoma City, pitching to a 4-3 record with a 4.68 ERA in 46 games.
As noted above, Sborz enjoyed a nice bounce-back effort in September, yielding zero runs in four of his five appearances. He particularly excelled in his final outing of the season against the Giants, striking out the side to complete a scoreless inning.
Sborz remains on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster heading into the 2020 season. Depending on what moves are made this winter, he figures to have a chance to earn a spot in the bullpen from the get go, especially if he helps his cause in Spring Training.
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