The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen is largely set for Opening Day, with only one or two final spots still being decided during the final week of Spring Training games.
As the number of exhibition games remaining on the schedule dwindle, the Dodgers used Monday’s matchup with the Colorado Rockies to prepare several relief pitchers with scenarios they are likely to be in come the regular season.
Although the Dodgers suffered a 5-1 loss at Salt River Fields, manager Dave Roberts was pleased with what he saw from Caleb Ferguson, Evan Phillips, Alex Vesia, Victor González, Juan Morillo and Jake Pilarski, via SportsNet LA
“We made a lot of pitching changes in between innings, we wanted guys to do some up-downs to kind of check that box for a lot of guys. I thought Evan was really good. Caleb in the end figured some things out, which was encouraging. I thought Alex was good. All those guys were fine. I thought Victor was really sharp. It was also fun to see some of those young arms. We saw Juan Morillo. He was good and I didn’t want to stress him too much but he was excited about getting in a big league ballgame. Jake Pilarski, we signed, and he touched triple digits a lot.”
Phillips and Vesia both pitched across parts of multiple innings, and later in the week will be among those who on back-to-back days:
“Those guys tonight are going to get a couple days off, and then they’ll go back-to-back. As we sit here Monday, they’ll be off Tuesday and Wednesday, and then they’ll go Thursday and Friday.”
Ferguson retired the first batter faced before allowing four consecutive hits. Phillips replaced him and stranded both inherited runners to end the inning.
Vesia got the final out in the third inning after taking over for Phillips, and had a run charged to him after exiting in the fourth. González turned in a scoreless relief appearance.
Dodgers bullpen for Opening Day roster
Relief pitchers who figure to be locks on the Dodgers Opening Day roster are Yency Almonte, Ferguson, Brusdar Graterol, Shelby Miller, Phillips and Vesia.
The likes of Phil Bickford, Justin Bruihl, González, and potentially Michael Grove and Andre Jackson are presumed to be competing for the final two spots.
Daniel Hudson and Jimmy Nelson are both likely to begin the regular season on the 15-day injured list.
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