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Dodgers: 3 Young Arms That Could Start the Season in Triple-A

The Dodgers have a few big league arms that could start off the year in the minor leagues.



The Dodgers will start the year with the deepest pitching staff in all of Major League Baseball. There are few around the sport that would argue against that claim. But with so much pitching ready to go, the team can take it easy on some guys that have fallen behind. 

And that doesn’t mean that every guy on this list is necessarily someone that has fallen behind. Some Dodgers pitchers are just in the unfortunate position of being one of the few guys left with option years available. 

The rise of veteran non-rostered guys like Jimmy Nelson also complicates things a little. If Nelson is not added to the Dodgers roster by a certain date, they will have to cut him loose. So it would be wise of them to take advantage of the opportunity and make space for him, even if its just for the first part of the season. 

Dustin May

Dustin is one guy that hasn’t had a chance to get the number of starts you would expect a starter to have at this point. He has spent a decent chunk of Spring Training on the backfields getting work in B games to tune his mechanics. Dustin also has 3 option years remaining, so the Dodgers could use that in the first couple of weeks to help him catch up.

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Tony Gonsolin

Gonsolin is one of the guys that has not fallen behind or really missed a step. He does, however, have an option year remaining. The Dodgers could use him the same way that they did last year, optioning him when they are not using him for a start. They could also use him in the bullpen instead though, which would make the option less necessary. 

Brusdar Graterol

Brusdar is just 22-years-old and has 3 option years remaining. The Dodgers have slightly slow-played his progress since he was not able to throw much during the offseason. The team could potentially build him up within the next 2 weeks, but there also isn’t much of a need to rush him. Brusdar is a one-inning guy, but his success very much relies on built-up velocity. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. There’s no need to rust Graterol or May…they won’t start the season on the 26 man roster. Nelson is a keeper and Gonsolin is right on track. Both will likely make muti-inning appearances. All this has been obvious for about two weeks now.
    Also, the hitters have caught up to the pitchers so expect less than perfect outing from the pitchers in their spring training outings.

  2. that would be tragic to demote these kids. i’ll never understand the bauer trade. we could have gotten lemahieu, ozuna, and turner for the price of his contract. and…..we wouldn’t have this battle for a starting job. anyway you look at it, the dodgers are gold.

  3. May and Graterol are future stars but it won’t hurt them to start in AAA. Nelson is proving a real find.

    Starters: Kershaw, Buehler, Bauer, Urias, and Nelson (until they find a taker)
    BP: Jansen, Treinen, Gonzalez, Price, Knebel, Gonsolin, and Santana or Clevinger.

    Kelly and Alexander are done. Might be Kershaw’s last dance.

  4. May and Gonsolin should be 5 and 6 starters in the rotation, possibly sharing the 5 spot with alternating starts. Neither should ever be relegated to the minors again. Graterol should continue to be brought along carefully. He should be the closer ASAP, as in this year preferably, and certainly next year. If a short few weeks in the minors helps him build up his game that’s fine, but he needs to be on the big team and pitching regularly by June.

  5. A lot of good possibilities… FWIW, I’d start out with a rotation of Kersh, Buhler, Bauer, Urias and Gonsolin, with Price and Nelson in the BP. If Urias can’t figure out the 1st inning, or Gonsolin struggles, the veterans could move up…. Rest of the pen includes Jansen, VGon, Treinen, Knebel as locks and two of May, Alexander, Cleavinger, Santana.
    From the Dodgers use of May this spring it seems clear he use a bit AAA seasoning before he is brought up on the Bob Welch/Dave Stewart path from the pen to All-Star starter.
    No need to rush Bazooka, who needs to learn a wipeout pitch. Alexander may be choice over Clevinger and Santana because (I assume) the latter two have options still.
    Love the fact Price is willing to pitch in relief–and even seems enthusiastic about the idea, based on his WS experience and more. Maybe he looks at the Smoltz example–perhaps his best pathway to the Hall of Fame now.
    With all this depth–and remember, Kahnle and Ferguson are on the injured list–it’s easy to imagine Friedman dealing for prospects or, better, offering a package for true impact player like Matt Chapman or Jose Reyes or ??? at midseason….

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