Dodgers News: Jharel Cotton Patiently Awaiting Major League Opportunity
Dodgers News: Jharel Cotton Patiently Awaiting Major League Opportunity

The Los Angeles Dodgers currently boast one of the best farm systems in baseball, and have a particularly strong collection of young talent in the form of pitchers. While Jose De Leon and Julio Urias garner plenty of attention, Jharel Cotton and Brock Stewart are among those also of note.

Cotton, a 24-year-old right-hander, recently had the honor of pitching in the 2016 Futures Game at Petco Park in San Diego for the World Team. He was joined by fellow Dodgers prospect Willie Calhoun, who was on the U.S. roster.

It was a well-deserved appearance for Cotton, who remained in the Minors as the Dodgers called up multiple pitchers at various points throughout the season for spot starts. Urias was a natural selection given his status in the organization, but some others have come as a surprise.

Cotton recently admitted to feeling some angst over not being promoted for his Major League debut, but for now remains focused on improving and is happy for the prospects who have received the call, according to Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider:

“I get antsy sometimes, but I know my turn will come one day,” Cotton said. “For now, it’s getting better and bettering myself as a pitcher, and just being ready when that time comes.

“I felt happy for those guys when they got called up,” Cotton added. “(Urías and Stewart) did well. And Julio’s my boy. I was excited when he got called up. He’s young but he’s super mature for a 19-year old. And Brock was with us like two weeks when he got called up. That was good for him. He’s become a dynamite pitcher.”

Cotton whether or when he’s promoted is not something he’s going to worry over:

“When my time comes it’s going to be the right time,” he said. “I’m not going to push it or stress it. What they want to see out of me is I have to prove to them that I can do it.”

In 19 games (13 starts) this season, the right-hander is 7-4 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. After struggling through four starts with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Cotton was placed in the bullpen.

He returned to the OKC rotation in late May and owns a 3.60 ERA, while holding opponents to a .169/.244/.292 batting line in nine starts since.

While Cotton has been mainly used as a starter in his career, it’s certainly plausible the Dodgers first use him as a reliever. There were rumblings late last season that Cotton emerged as an option for the bullpen though nothing manifested.