On paper it seems as though the Los Angeles Dodgers have more pitchers than they may need. Once everyone is healthy, they conceivably will have three starting pitchers vying for the final spot in the starting rotation. The remaining pitchers who don’t claim the fifth spot will presumably be thrown into the already-crowded bullpen.
The muddied situation has taken another turn on Wednesday as ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon reported the Dodgers are considering converting pitching prospect Chris Reed to a reliever, which is a move that the left-hander would prefer to avoid:
He said he prefers to remain a starting pitcher, but the team is considering converting him to relief. With that in mind, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is working with him on throwing a slider to augment a fastball, changeup and slower breaking ball which he calls a “slurve.”
The potential change shouldn’t be viewed as any sort of demotion for Reed. The 23-year-old has certainly impressed with his performance thus far, pitching two innings in the second intrasquad game complete with a strikeout of Yasiel Puig, his former teammate.
Reed spent last season in Double-A Chattanooga, posting a 4-11 record with a 3.86 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. During the 2012 season, Reed spent the year between both High A Rancho Cucamonga and Double A, compiling a record of 1-8 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 1.97 K/BB rate. Despite his struggles, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt believes Reed has an MLB-caliber arm and credited the young pitcher for his work ethic:
He’s worked really hard and his delivery has gotten better and better, Honeycutt said
Although Reed, who we ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 8 overall prospect, isn’t likely to make the Opening Day roster, moving him to the bullpen now could be a change with the future in mind. J.P. Howell is signed through the 2015 season with an option for 2016 and should he not re-sign with the Dodgers, Reed may emerge as part of a one-two left-handed punch with Paco Rodriguez.
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