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First Cuts of Spring – Nothing Unexpected (Except Why Not More?)

Gavin Stone is pictured, and NO, he is not one that should have been optioned.  He is looking at the #5 SP.

The Dodgers have optioned RHPs Landon Knack, Ricky Vanasco and Nick Frasso, catchers Hunter Feduccia and Diego Cartaya and OF Andy Pages, and re-assigned LHP Stephen Gonsalves, RHPs Jesse Hahn, Michael Petersen and Eduardo Salazar and OF Travis Swaggerty to minor league camp.

That leaves 14 position players from the 40 man roster remaining in MLB camp.  Miguel Vargas is the 14th position player.  40 man pitchers still unassigned to MiLB camp or to the opening day roster:

  • P. Feyereisen
  • Matt Gage
  • Michael Grove
  • Kyle Hurt
  • Emmet Sheehan
  • Gavin Stone
  • Gus Varland

IMO, the leading #5 SP is Gavin Stone, until Walker Buehler returns. But he has options, and as a SP, he will not be needed in Seoul.  A reliever is more necessary for the March 20 and March 21 game.   Stone and others will undoubtedly travel with the team and pitch in the exhibition games.  Ryan Yarbrough, Bobby Miller, and James Paxton would all be in position for long relief if needed (or piggy back if you will).

Whatever additional pitchers are taken to Seoul but not expected to be on the roster would form a Taxi Squad of sorts.  They could be added immediately in case of injury.

That would also include 2-3 position players.

It is also just as likely that if Stone is named the #5 SP, he would not be optioned, and could also used as a long reliever (piggy back).

I believe that teams that have to start eight days prior to the other MLB teams should be able to have 28 man roster for those early opening days.  But my opinion does not go very far with the Commissioner’s Office.

It would also appear that the four reassigned pitchers and Travis Swaggerty do not have opt outs.  That leaves the following NRI still with the club:

  • Nabil Crismatt – RHP
  • Kevin Gowdy – RHP
  • Elieser Hernández – RHP
  • Daniel Hudson – RHP
  • Dinelson Lamet – RHP
  • J. McFarland – LHP
  • Justin Wilson – LHP


  • Chris Okey – C
  • Dalton Rushing – C
  • Austin Gauthier – 2B
  • Kevin Padlo – 1B
  • Trey Sweeney – SS
  • Drew Avans – OF
  • Jose Ramos – OF
  • Ryan Ward – OF

All of the position players are under team control, except perhaps Chris Okey and Kevin Padlo.  All seven pitchers are true MLB pitchers signed to MiLB contracts hoping to catch on with the MLB team.  How many have opt outs is unknown.  Daniel Hudson is the most likely to be named to the Opening Day roster.

Opt outs can come in multiple forms.  Some require the player to be named to the Opening Day roster or the player becomes a FA.  Some contracts call for the player to be named by June 1 (or any other agreeable date), some by ASG…

There are no position player positions open, but there could be a couple of pitcher positions open for Seoul, that could be changed for the domestic season opener against St. Louis, March 28.

On Sunday, we got a glimpse of things to come.  Mookie, Shohei, and Freddie all singled to open the game.  That was followed by a pair of sacrifice flies from Will Smith and Max Muncy.  The Dodgers had a 3-0 lead after the 1st.

Four of the top five in the batting order each appeared with 3 PA and were gone by the 5th inning.  Will Smith stayed in the game and was removed once he was HBP in the 6th.  All they did:

  • Mookie – 3-3, 2 runs, double
  • Shohei – 3-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI, triple
  • Freddie – 1-3, 1 run, 2 RBI, 1 HBP
  • Will Smith – 1-2, 1 RBI, sac fly
  • Max Muncy – 1-2, 1 run, 2 RBI, HR

That is 9 for 14, 6 runs, 7 RBI, 2 sac flies, double, triple, and HR, and 1 HBP.

Max Muncy’s HR in the 4th was the last hit the Dodgers hit on Sunday.  Smith was the only base runner after Max’s HR.

On the other side, Gavin Stone was brilliant for 3.0 IP.  He allowed 2 singles, with 1 K, on 35 total pitches.  It appears that Stone is no longer tipping his pitches.

Michael Grove allowed a 2 out run scoring double in the 5th , but then appeared to hit a wall in the 6th.  Stephen Gonsalves relieved Grove and allowed a run scoring single.

Gus Varland continued his somewhat mediocre (being kind) spring by allowing a double, a SB, and ground out for another run.  This was Varland’s 4th game.  He has 3.2 IP.  He has surrendered 4 runs (all earned), 7 hits, 2 HBP, and 5K.

TJ McFarland appeared in his 4th game and looks like he can pitch well on a MLB team.  In 4.0 scoreless IP, he has allowed 2 hits, and registered 5K.  Alex Vesia has one option remaining.  Could AF option Vesia and put McFarland, the more effective LHRP on the 26 man?

Dinelson Lamet ran into a little trouble in the 9th/  Kevin Gowdy appeared in his 4th game and got the final out on a force out ground ball to 3B, Chris Owings, for the save.

The LAD position players are going to score a lot of runs.  The rotation has the chance to be stellar.  The bullpen could also be something special.  They are not the only team with talent, but even when including Atlanta, I cannot believe there is a more talented team in MLB.  And do not forget, the Dodgers depth far exceeds Atlanta’s (IMO).

The Dodgers have an off day on Monday, and then have 9 ST games remaining before they take off for Seoul.





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I think Hurt is one of our 13 best pitchers but will likely be a casuality of the numbers game. Keep him loose and ready in AAA.


Man I really like what I’ve seen of Hurt, both this spring and last year during his brief call up.


I love a good pitching prospect. Quite often they mature and we get to see them help the big league club. Kershaw, Buehler, Urias, etc. Followed all those guys from when they were drafted. Next batch is exciting too.


I tend to latch onto a few players and Stone was one of those guys. Whether he has perfected a third pitch or is no longer tipping his changeup, something is making him MLB ready.

I like Sheehan and Stone and hope they wind up in the rotation this year. I hope the reason is that they are very good and not because options were not. The rotation is crowded.

The Dodger outfield has openings as soon as 2025. Pages future is looking good and should nail down RF soon. Will Vargas earn LF in 2025?


A little worried about Frasso, Sheehan & Ryan.


Frasso is basically out until after July. He had some work done on his shoulder. Sheehan has some issues with soreness, being called general body soreness. They used to call that dead arm. I do not know why Ryan has not pitched yet, but they seem to be bringing him along slowly.


Baseball Prospectus founder Gary Huckabay coined the acronym TINSTAAPP, which stands for “There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect.” 

This is why minor league quality depth is so vital.




I think Pages will be up sometime this season if there is an injury. Vargas needs reps. I am not as bullish on his chances of nailing down a spot next season. He looks good one day, then disappears for a week. Acuna having problems with his meniscus.


I think so too, but so far, he hasn’t shown much.

Scott Andes

Just curious,

How much rope do they give him?


() that much

Scott Andes

Probably. Gonna be difficult to get him ABs though. Left field Probably the only spot in the field.

Singing the Blue

We just picked up “Third Baseman/Pinch Hitter” Andre Lipcius from the Tigers for cash considerations.

Apparently he’s going on the 40-man because they’ve moved Kershaw to the 60-day. I checked his stats and they really aren’t all that bad. Kind of surprised that the Tigers just dumped him like that. He’s still only 25 years old (this will be his age 26 season).

Jeff, can you give us any further info on this guy?

Last edited 4 months ago by Singing the Blue
Singing the Blue

This, courtesy of Josh Thomas on Twitter:

“Lipcius has decent bat to ball, draws a bunch of walks, not much pop, has played 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, and RF. Basically a utility guy who will get on base a bit, decent depth piece.

btw Lipcius means sticky in Lithuanian, watch for RPM increases”


They probably think he is better than Owings.


Doubt that very seriously. Maybe with the bat, but he is not a very good defensive player, and his primary position is third. Owings 11-year vet with a great glove and decent numbers.


Damn, it kinda sucks not having a spring game today!! What does one do with one’s time??

I guess more Caleb Williams/Justin Fields/Bears #1 pick sports talk it is.


Josh Donaldson announced his retirement and Sonny Gray, the penciled in starter on opening day at Dodger Stadium removed from his game today for hamstring tightness. UL Washington passed away at age 72.


Passan on Glasnow ($$$$)

After being traded to the Dodgers and signing a five-year, $136.5 million contract extension in December, 30-year-old Glasnow has spent the spring working on a two-seam fastball that’s running at 99 mph…

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