By assembling a deep pitching staff, the Los Angeles Dodgers figured to face difficult decisions this spring once it came time to pare down to a 25-man roster for Opening Day. The team has yet to formally announce their active roster, but it’s slowly being pieced together.
The bulk of the questions centered around the two remaining slots in the starting rotation, the final bench spot(s) and in some regard the bullpen. On Monday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts named Hyun-Jin Ryu one of the team’s starters. The decision has left Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood competing for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.
As for the bullpen, the Dodgers will not carry Brandon Morrow on their Opening Day roster. He instead will receive a bonus and begin the season in the Minors, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Morrow will receive $100,000 retention bonus and go to Minor Leagues. Will go to LA with club before Minor Leagues.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 28, 2017
Tuesday was the deadline for the Dodgers to either add Morrow, a non-roster invitee, to their active roster or pay a retention bonus. The right-hander has allowed six runs (five earned) on 11 hits in 9.1 innings this spring, which amounts to a 4.82 ERA.
Despite the inflated across 11 Cactus League appearances, the Dodgers have been encouraged by Morrow’s showing this spring. He signed a Minor League deal with the team in January.
In a decision that pertains to both the rotation and bullpen, Roberts confirmed Julio Urias also will not be with the club. The young lefty is expected to remain in extended Spring Training, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Julio Urias will not make the club. He is likely headed to extended spring training.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 28, 2017
Although Urias entered camp as a starting pitcher, he was slowly rolled into Cactus League games. The Dodgers’ approach suggested Urias was unlikely to break camp with the team as one of their five starters.
Urias is starting Tuesday’s split-squad game against the San Diego Padres. He enters having thrown just 5.2 innings in four games (two starts) this spring. Urias is expected to be part of the Dodgers rotation at some point this season, but he may first stop in Triple-A Oklahoma City.