When the Los Angeles Dodgers officially introduced Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations, he spoke of not only needing to construct a roster that is capable of competing for a World Series in 2015, but also one capable of sustained success.
Friedman’s remarks fell in line with team president and CEO Stan Kasten’s assertion that the Dodgers would shift away from big spending in free agency and begin to rely more heavily on their farm system. With rosters for Opening Day due by noon pacific time Sunday, the Dodgers moved closer to formally finalizing theirs with a handful of cuts after Saturday’s game.
While some of the players sent to the Minors aren’t on Major-League deals, Friedman expressed confidence in the players on the active roster and beyond, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
We feel very strongly we sent down some Major League players. But it’s the sign of a good team to have depth,” said Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations. “I’m excited about the 25 guys that we’ll open with, but it extends beyond the 25.”
Kiké Hernandez was among the players who impressed in camp, but it wasn’t enough for him to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. As a cruel reminder of the business aspect that comes with playing, he hit a game-tying solo home run in the ninth inning and was optioned to the Minors less than one hour later.
The Dodgers also sent down a slew of relievers including, David Huff, Adam Liberatore and Sergio Santos, among others. While they won’t be with the club on Opening Day, it isn’t beyond reason to believe an opportunity won’t arise at some point throughout the season.
That may be particularly true for Huff, who is capable of starting and pitching out of the bullpen a la a role Paul Maholm filled last season.
Dodgers Introduce Andrew Friedman