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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Envisions Santana As Starter, Updates On Keibert Ruiz

The Dodgers manager liked what he saw from Dennis Santana this spring, and gives us an update on the status of Keibert Ruiz.



The Dodgers have plenty of depth on their roster and that was on display Tuesday in Arizona. Dennis Santana came on in the third inning to strike out the side in his second scoreless outing of the spring. Dave Roberts has been impressed with what he has seen from Santana thus far and praised his work in a postgame huddle with the media.

Despite starting the conversation with starter Victor Gonzalez, Roberts immediately turned his attention to Santana in the huddle.

The star of the day on the mound was Santana. Dennis..the strength he has that he’s gained, allowed for his delivery to hold his delivery and the throws are really good and the sink is late…it was really encouraging today.

Roberts was also quick to note that while he did like what he saw from him, the Dodgers ultimately envision him as a starter long-term. And if that’s the case, it seems unlikely that Santana breaks the Opening Day roster, given the number of starters the team already has.

If he continues to throw the baseball like he has been, he’s a guy that gives us versatility as a starter and as a reliever…He’s just got to continue to mature as a player…He’s throwing the ball well first time out…We’re going to keep building him up(as a starter).

Santana tossed a combined 93 innings at Triple-A in 2019 and really struggled. But he has shown promise throughout his professional career and certainly appears to be trending up.

Roberts also gave an update on Dodgers star catching prospect Keibert Ruiz. Ruiz has yet to see any game action despite reportedly being back to 100 percent. Roberts noted that he’s working on some mechanical stuff before he gets into games.

Keibert will be in a game, I’m thinking Thursday or Friday we’ll get him in a game. For him, he’s been working on a little of a swing change. Not necessarily an overhaul at all…Just trying to get his path to the ball a little just not underneath.

Ruiz is the Dodgers’ number three prospects and is likely their catcher of the future. The switch-hitting backstop put up a 316 batting average at Triple-A last year before a broken finger derailed his season.

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. I don’t know why we keep a lightweight like Barnes around when we have two young studs who could be splitting time at the major league level… Bring on the future in this case…

    • Because you NEVER have a rookie at any position on the big league roster if they aren’t playing every day. With all do respect, let the people that get paid to make those calls, make them.

    • Really short sided take there. If Smith and Ruiz both split the year evenly, they each get 81 games…. which is not great for young players who are developing. Keeping Ruiz in Triple A for most of the year gets both Catchers 100+ games to play in, which will help develop both.
      Soooooo…. yeah. Keep Barnes as backup until last month or so of season and then call Ruiz

  2. Let me translate the Doc speak: Despite his impressive pitching this spring, Santana’s not gonna make the team even as a BP option to open the season. Furthermore, we’re allowing the locks for the rotation – Buehler, Kershaw, Price, and Urias – more time to prep which is why they haven’t yet pitched in a game and the contenders for the final spot – Gonsolin, Stripling, and Wood – haven’t yet separated themselves as all have shown well so far. In the interest of team harmony, we’ll probably go with Wood because both Gonsolin and Stripling have indicated they’re OK with the pen and, because they’ll be in pen, there’s no room for Santana. Only injuries change anything. That’s what he’s really saying …

    • Hey Bum4ever like your translation and I agree. This team has too many starters and there isn’t any room for a rookie.
      As far as young catchers Barnes is there to continue to mentor Smith and Ruiz needs another year to work on his mechanics. This gives Smith the chance to show if he is the second coming of Posey and can fend off Ruiz or if he is destined to be trade bait. Plus Barnes may get his swing back you never know baseball is a funny game and hitting is truly difficult. Barnes is an excellent pitch framer and defensive catcher and will play at the major league level somewhere next year I believe. If he can hit he may save his career.We shall see.

      • Just calling it like it is. I’ve never been real big on Barnes and Cartaya may see the majors before Ruiz. Ruiz can hit but I still see him traded.

  3. D.R.and his visions,he can not see pass shifting players,he is not & will never be a good manager

  4. There could be a change in in who the 2 catchers are should an injury occur that puts either Smith or Barnes on the IL..Most likely at this stage Ruiz is better off catching regularly in OKC than only being a back up here. There is that now 26th man on the active roster for 2020 so it will be interesting to see how Dodgers start the season with who will be in that roster spot.

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