The Los Angeles Dodgers rely on their depth unlike any other organization in baseball, and that was evident last year when 46 different players appeared in a game during the regular season.
Of the group, nine were rookies and eight of them had previously never advanced past Triple-A Oklahoma City. Many of those players enjoyed immediate success in the Majors, including Will Smith, who went on to earn the starting role at catcher as the season progressed.
Other standouts from the 2019 season include Matt Beaty, Gavin Lux and Dustin May, each of whom earned spots on the Dodgers’ National League Division Series roster.
All of those players figure to factor into the club’s plans in 2020 as well, which could make playing time hard to come by for those on the outside looking in.
Dodgers farm director Will Rhymes cautioned that it will be difficult for the club to replicate last season’s infusion of Minor League talent given how deep the roster is, via Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider:
“It would be hard to duplicate last year,” admitted Will Rhymes, Dodgers director of player development and the office’s occupant prior to Spring Training getting suspended. “It’s going to be hard for anyone to crack the roster that we have (in 2020), but things happen throughout the year, and we feel our guys are prepared and ready to step in if they’re needed.”
One reason there are fewer roster spots available for the taking when compared to last year is the Dodgers swung one of the offseason’s biggest trades by acquiring Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox.
L.A. also signed the likes of Jimmy Nelson, Blake Treinen and Alex Wood in free agency. The arrivals of the aforementioned players further bolstered the team’s roster while bringing even more stability to their respective position groups.
That could lead to some difficult decisions when the time comes, as a few deserving players may have to open the 2020 season in the Minors.
And of course another wrinkle that must be taken into account is the widely held expectation that the Minor League season will be cancelled. Assuming MLB and the Players Association reach an agreement, teams will be permitted to have a taxi squad.
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