The Los Angeles Dodgers are four days away from beginning their Cactus League schedule, and thus far in Spring Training much of the focus has been on the starting pitching staff.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts views the team as having eight candidates to fill out the rotation: Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Jimmy Nelson, David Price and Julio Urias.
In no particular order, Bauer, Buehler, Kershaw and Price are locks to make the Opening Day rotation. May has set that as a personal goal, but Urias reportedly has the inside track.
Beyond the likelihood of Gonsolin and May being bumped into the bullpen or to Triple-A Oklahoma City, the Dodgers also have the likes of Josiah Gray and Mitch White knocking on the door. White made his MLB debut last season but remains shut down due to arm soreness.
Meanwhile, Gray impressed during his first round of pitching in live batting practice. “Really good. Obviously the fastball is real, he synced up some really good breaking balls, and the changeup is a plus-pitch as well,” Roberts said. “I thought facing hitters, really good.”
Roberts stopped short of saying Gray would definitely contribute at the Major League level this season, only offering that the right-hander continues to impress. “I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but certainly we think a lot of him. He just needs to continue to get repetitions and continue to develop,” Roberts said. “He’s coming pretty quickly.”
Outlook for Lux
Heading into Spring Training last year the expectation was Gavin Lux would not only become the everyday second baseman but contend for the National League Rookie of the Year Award. But he never rebounded from uneven performances during the spring and a late arrival to Summer Camp.
“Just getting a normal progression, routine, how Spring Training plays out in terms of him not missing significant time like he did last year when he had to start and stop,” Roberts said of the focus for Lux this year. “For me, Gavin just to be himself, go out there and play baseball.”
Although every indication is Cody Bellinger has progressed well from his offseason shoulder surgery, the former MVP won’t make his 2021 debut until the middle of March. Bellinger stood in the batter’s box while David Price threw live BP, but only to track pitches.
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