The Los Angeles Dodgers announced a second round of Spring Training roster cuts on Thursday afternoon, sending seven players to Minor League camp.
Micah Johnson, Yaisel Sierra, Ross Stripling and Ian Thomas were optioned, while Jose De Leon, Julio Urias and Jack Murphy were reassigned.
Johnson, who the Dodgers acquired in a three-team trade last December with the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds, played in 13 Cactus League games, playing 12 games at second base, including five starts.
Johnson batted .345/.345/.379 (10-for-29) with one double, two RBIs, four runs scored, four strikeouts and two stolen bases. In 36 games with the White Sox last season, Johnson batted .230/.306/.270 with four doubles.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke highly of Johnson’s speed and athleticism earlier in camp, calling him a ‘dynamic player.’ Sierra was a late arrival as his signing to a six-year contract wasn’t made official until Feb. 21.
Sierra then endured paperwork issues and didn’t throw his first bullpen session until March. Stripling threw two scoreless innings on Thursday in the latest of a small string of relief appearances.
Stripling allowed just one hit, walked three and totaled six strikeouts over six innings (three games). Thomas also put together three scoreless relief appearances, collecting three strikeouts in three innings.
De Leon entered Spring Training as one of the more intriguing players who received a non-roster invitation. A 24th-round pick in the 2013 draft, De Leon was ranked the No. 5 right-handed prospect in the Minors by MLB.com.
He struck out the side in his Spring Training debut, though struggled a bit in his two games that followed. De Leon allowed two runs in two innings pitched against the Oakland Athletics, and three runs in two innings to the White Sox.
Thomas was used in three Spring Training games, throwing one inning each time. He allowed just one hit and had four strikeouts. Last season, he tossed a total of 18 innings in nine appearances, including one start.
Thomas finished 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, 18 strikeouts and six walks over the nine games. Meanwhile, Murphy batted .167/.545/.333 in limited action over eight games with the Dodgers this spring.
Like De Leon, Urias also struck out the side in his first inning of work. He battled groin soreness earlier in camp, which forced him to miss a few days of throwing. Urias allowed a combined four runs in three innings over two appearances.
Despite their up-and-down performances, Roberts said De Leon and Urias gained valuable experience being part of Major League camp. At this stage, both young pitchers appear to be on the outside looking in to be named the Dodgers’ fifth starter.
Roberts said Thursday that Stripling, although impressive, is not receiving consideration.