Spring training is right around the corner, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are handing out more Non-Roster Invitations as February 19th gets ever so closer. Today, the team gave out three more to players that they want to get a look at in big league camp.
Those three players being right-handers Chase De Jong, Caleb Dirks, and Jacob Rhame. They all present pretty unique skill sets that could help the Dodgers in the future, so it’s great to see them get a chance at the big time, even if for a few days of camp.
From the Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) official Twitter account:
RHP Chase De Jong, Caleb Dirks and Jacob Rhame have been given non-roster invitations to Major League Spring Training by the Dodgers.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 1, 2016
De Jong is a 22-year old right-hander that the Dodgers acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for three international bonus pool slots back in July of last season. In his 50 innings as a Dodger farmhand last year, De Jong registered 52 strikeouts and 15 walks in 50 innings, as well as a 3.96 ERA.
Like De Jong, Dirks was acquired on July 2nd last year in exchange for international bonus pool slots. Dirks is a former 15th round selection by the Atlanta Braves who had 35 strikeouts in 23.1 innings in the Dodgers system last season. He also had a 1.15 ERA. The 22-year old from Arcadia profiles as a reliever at the next level.
Lastly. Rhame was a 6th round pick of the Dodgers in 2013, and he put up a 3.06 ERA last season at Double-A. In his 50 innings there, he fanned 57 batters and walked 19. Rhame features a good fastball with plus potential, along with a solid slider and change-up. His potential is as a late-innings reliever, or possibly even future closer.
The fact the three pitchers are going to get a look at the big league level, even if it is just for a camp invite for a few days or even weeks, is a real plus for their development. As far as Dirks and Rhame are concerned, their futures are in the bullpen. But De Jong could be a capable back-end-of-the-rotation starter perhaps.
Still, invites are always fun and these three do have a future in the organization. The level of insight and professionalism that they’re going to get in spring training could help them in their quest to make the team on a permanent basis.