The Dodgers have already made a variety of Spring Training roster cuts and continued the trend with another flurry of moves.
Today the Dodgers optioned right-handed pitchers Dennis Santana and Brock Stewart, catcher Keibert Ruiz and infielder Edwin Rios and reassigned catcher Will Smith to minor league camp.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 11, 2019
This group includes some of the Dodgers’ top prospects as well as Brock Stewart, who continues to be shuttled between the big club and Triple-A.
Dennis Santana, 22, made a single start for the club last season. He continues to be ranked among the Dodgers’ best pitching prospects and is arguably the second-best in the system as it stands. With the amount of depth the Dodgers currently possess in terms of starters, it would likely take a couple of injuries to get Santana back to the big leagues. Regardless, Santana possesses big-time potential and could emerge as an above-average starter as early as 2020.
Keibert Ruiz, 20, maintains top-tier prospect status heading into the 2019 campaign. In 101 games with Double-A Tulsa last season, Ruiz slashed .268/.328/.401 which was a bit underwhelming in comparison to his .316/.361/.452 marks across two levels in 2017. Ruiz, although a bit of a long shot, could debut in 2019.
Edwin Rios, 24, has some definite intrigue as across 346 minor league games, he has enjoyed a .302/.351/.528 slash line. His defense leaves a little bit to be desired, but there are no viable questions regarding his bat. As long as Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner are healthy, Rios is a long shot to make a major league impact in 2019.
Will Smith, 23, remains intriguing but takes a backseat to Keibert Ruiz in terms of who the ‘catcher of the future’ is. His 2018 was entirely underwhelming as he struggled to a .233/.322/.455 slash line in AA and AAA.
Brock Stewart, 27, may see his time with the Dodgers come to end sooner rather than later. Across 80 career innings, he has held a 4.84 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. The team simply has no room for him, quite possibly not even as a depth option.
As spring rolls on, the 25-man roster takes shape.
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