Anchored by Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the stronger rotations in the National League. Following Kershaw are Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett, but the team is still in the market for another starter because of concerns around Beckett and his recovery from surgery.
Speaking to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, a Dodgers’ prospect Zach Lee spoke about the upcoming spring and his aspirations:
I’m trying to win a job, striving to get here as soon as I can. If I pitch well and control what I can control, the opportunity will present itself not far down the road. There are contractual issues, but if you outperform people, there will be a spot for you.
Lee was recently ranked the 63rd-best prospect by MLB.com and is considered one of the Dodgers best pitching prospects. Last season, the right-hander spent the year with the Chattanooga Lookouts in Double-A and went 10-10 with a 3.22 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 142.2 innings. He was invited to big league camp for Spring Training and will be competing with Beckett, Stephen Fife and Matt Magill for the fifth spot in the rotation. The 22-year-old was the Dodgers’ first-round pick in the 2010 MLB draft and has been projected as a top-of-the-rotation starter.
After losing out on Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, the Dodgers said they were looking for a short-term deal with a starting pitcher like Bronson Arroyo. A strong showing by Lee in the spring could give the team a dilemma in whether to give the job to a pitcher that hasn’t spent a day above Double-A. Beckett is recovering from surgery and right-hander Chad Billingsley is expected back from surgery in July and will give the team another option for the fifth slot.
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