The Dodgers were involved in a three-way trade yesterday that landed them Frankie Montas — a top pitching prospect — and of course, the team already has Julio Urias and Jose De Leon waiting in the wings as well.
The names have been mentioned so often recently that one could easily consider them already on the major league roster. They aren’t, though, and it doesn’t appear they will be anytime soon.
Despite the question marks surrounding the current roster (even more so after Hisashi Iwakuma failed his physical) and the organization is loaded with these pitching prospects, don’t expect any of them to be in the opening day rotation based on what Andrew Friedman has said, via True Blue LA’s Eric Stephen.
Yesterday Andrew Friedman was asked if a rookie starter (generally) could make opening day rotation. …
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) December 17, 2015
… more Friedman: “… but I prefer to let guys get past the opening day bell, go get their legs under them in Triple-A.” — Eric Stephen (@truebluela) December 17, 2015
Rather than having the rookie pitchers start in the majors from day one, he’d rather see them get a few starts in the minors first and then, once their closer to mid-season form, have them appear in the majors. It’s also worth noting this stance makes sense from a “team control” point of view, too. Delaying the arrival of the rookies also delays the start of their service time in the big leagues, which, if handled correctly, can lead to an extra year of team control. It’s same reason why the Cubs waited until April 15 to call up Kris Bryant last season even though he was clearly ready for the big leagues. Could the Dodgers use one of the prospects in their opening day rotation? As of now, sure. The rotation could use improvement, but the offseason isn’t close to over and the team is sure to make a move or two to bolster it when all is said and done. In fact, the team is reportedly in trade discussions with the Rays for Jake Odorizzi. So while the prospects are certainly talented and could arguably improve the team, I wouldn’t expect to see them starting for the Dodgers at the beginning of the season.