With the start of the season rapidly approaching, the Dodgers made their first round of roster cuts Monday morning, which included most of their top prospects.
Among those optioned to the minor league side of camp were pitcher Josiah Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz, two names that many thought would get more run during spring training. When asked about what led to the cuts for these two, manager Dave Roberts gave reporters his thoughts on their progress throughout training camp.
First up, the manager talks Ruiz.
I think for Keibert, it was late arrival to camp and we just didn’t get to see him as much as we would’ve liked. [We want him to] continue to go out there and take at-bats every day, play regularly once they start playing games on the other side. When we get a chance, we’ll try and bring him over, but I’m just really impressed with the way he looks and the way he’s matured.
Notably, LA’s top overall prospect Ruiz arrived late to Camelback Ranch after dealing with Visa issues coming in from Venezuela. Still, Doc applauded the catcher for being in great shape despite his late arrival. The 22-year-old collected 2 hits in 2 at-bats in short time this spring.
Next, Roberts explained his reasoning for sending down his top pitching prospect in Jojo Gray.
With Josiah, the starters are building up and he needs to build up as a starter, get on a regular routine, and continue to fine tune some things. But I thought [he] had a good camp, and he’s only going to get better.
As with most of the other players who were optioned on Monday morning, Ruiz and Gray just aren’t a part of the plan for the major league roster at this time. They both performed well during their brief appearances, but the opportunities to play would start dwindling as the regulars start building up to playing a full 9 innings.
With teams preparing for a 162-game slate for the first time in two years, depth will still play a major factor in 2021. Expect to see both Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz get an opportunity in the majors at some point throughout the season.