Non-Roster Invitees

Every Spring there seems to be some non-roster invitee who steps up and either makes the club or comes close and makes it interesting.  This year, there 21 non-roster invitees who have a shot.  Ken Gurnick of Dodgers .com lists them:

The complete list:

Pitchers: Ralston Cash, Fabio Castillo, Steve Geltz, Brandon Morrow, Trevor Oaks, Josh Sborz, Patrick Schuster, Yaisel Sierra and Madison Younginer.

Catchers: Jack Murphy, Wynston Sawyer, Bobby Wilson.

Infielders:  Cody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun, Charlie Culberson, O’Koyea Dickson, Darnell Sweeney.

Outfielders: Stetson Allie, Tyler Holt, Henry Ramos, Alex Verdugo.

I wonder what old friend, Darnell Sweeney is up to?  Late bloomer or AAAA player?  Brett Eibner was not invited.  Most of the invitees have no shot at making the squad unless some crazy injuries occur and they suddenly “break out.”  However, it’s fun to see them in Big League Camp.

The Player Who Could Make the Most Difference:  Yasiel Puig!  Imagine if he can play up to his potential.  No one thinks he is a bigger knucklehead than me, but what if he could harness his talent?  The Dodgers would be the best team in baseball!  Each Spring hope springs eternal.  Nah……   it won’t happen!  Can it????  Will it???? That’s why they play the games.

 

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 26 Comments

  1. I have never been a Friedman basher and I still appreciate what he brings to the Dodgers but I have concerns.

    I thought Friedman should have gone all out in trying to sign Scherzer but was pleased that he didn’t give Greinke crazy dollars.

    I had high hopes for Holmes but I think the decision to trade for Hill was a good one and it almost accomplished what that trade was designed to do. Close enough in my book.

    The Yankees traded for Chapman and then traded him to get Gleyber Torres. I would love to have Gleyber Torres on the Dodgers. He could be the long-term second baseman for the Dodgers or shortstop if Seager moves to third.

    Friedman was supposed to be good at getting that player before he became that player and I ask why didn’t Friedman find a way to trade for Trea Turner like the Nationals did? Surely the Padres could have been offered a package that was better than they got from the Nationals.

    And now we have to read this:
    Olive says:—-January 26, 2017 at 10:06 pm
    https://books.google.com/books?id=BRHXCwAAQBAJ&lpg=PA283&ots=dQFzq7i9d4&dq=molly%20knight%20hamels%20slyke&pg=PA283#v=onepage&q=molly%20knight%20hamels%20slyke&f=false

    The Dodgers could be better past, present, future.

    1. We may never know what exactly happened but it does not even sound remotely logical the Phillies would have even considered De Leon and SVS for Hamels. This is especially true when you see what the Rangers paid. The Phillies received catcher Jorge Alfaro (#4 Prospect), outfielder Nick Williams (#3 Prospect), right-handed pitchers Jake Thompson (#3 Prospect last year before getting called up), Alec Asher (Started 5 games with a 2.28 ERA in 2016) and Jerad Eickhoff (197 IP with a 3.65 ERA in 2016, and veteran lefty Matt Harrison (now out of baseball).

      The Phillies got 5 prospects, but the Dodgers could have got it does if they were paying for De Leon and SVS? I have a bridge I would like to sell. Keith Law wrote this: Cole Hamels trade was ‘Phillies’ Herschel Walker moment He went on to say:

      Much of that is thanks due to a farm system that has been overhauled over the last 18 months–stemming in large part from the July 2015 trade of Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers. In return, the Phillies landed five prospects: Catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams and three right-handed pitchers, Jake Thompson, Jared Eickhoff and Alec Asher.

      The quantity, along with quality, of that deal spurred ESPN prospect expert Keith Law to rank the Phillies among the better farm systems in baseball heading into 2016 and put the deal in historical terms.

      To me, JDL and SVS for Hamels is purely fiction.

      1. I hope so. But JDL was considered ace material at the time and SVS was pounding lefties. If those two players got the conversation started the Dodgers could have found a few others to add such as Verdugo.
        .
        Friedman is young and still learning.

        1. In July 2015, Alex Verdugo was an unknown, unranked prospect at Low A. JDL was ranked a tick behind Urias . The Dodgers farm system also was not nearly as deep. Pederson, Urias, Seager and De Leon were the top prospects. At the very least, two had to be involved. To me it seems most likely 3 after seeing the heist the Phillies got. SVS was hitting .258 against LH in 2015 while Ruf was mashing them at a .371 rate! SVS has never been highly regarded.

          Predictably, some proclaimed that the Rangers made out like bandits in the trade: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbenjamin/2015/07/30/texas-rangers-made-out-like-bandits-in-cole-hamels-trade/#15cf1824e9fa

          He ends with saying:
          Instead, the Texas Rangers made out like bandits and landed Hamels for seemingly nothing. Though Eickhoff, Asher and Thompson were held in high regard in the Texas organization and their stats were likely more indicative of the stadiums in which they played rather than their overall talent, this deal could very well still leave Phillies fans wondering what could have been had the front office pushed to receive better prospects in return.
          Keith Law thinks otherwise! I think something does not add up in the whole thing. Just my opinion, but if it walks like a duck…

          1. Bingo! JDL and VanSlyke? Ridiculous!

            Another thing that doesn’t add up is, why would the Phils even want VanSlyke? VanSlyke, now 30, was 28 years old at the time of the Hamels trade. Obviously, Phils were rebuilding and wanted prospects, look the ages of the players they got from TX. Saying the Phils wanted VanSlyke is nothing more than FAKE NEWS!

    2. It says a package including JDL and SVS, it doesn’t say just for those two. Can we please read!??!?!?

      I’m not sure what Bumsrap post was about. Was he/Were you lamenting that the Dodgers didn’t make a couple of trades that you would have? They came close to a deal that would have brought in Hamels!

      Process is more important than Results. It scales for the future.

      The Dodgers are better past, present and future. World Series contender. Top farm system. Great history with trades/acquisitions…

      1. Did I type too fast? My point was that Friedman has missed some opportunities while making some good decisions IMHO.
        .
        The Dodgers are better now than before Friedman arrived but could be even better.

      2. Bluto

        Can’t you read?

        I told Bum that it wasn’t just Scott, and JDL.

        I told him, they only headlined that deal!

          1. Mark

            I like Bluto, but I have to give him a hard time.

            Because he, is so literal.

            But he his difinitly a FAZ supporter, like you.

  2. Again, but with breaks.

    I have never been a Friedman basher and I still appreciate what he brings to the Dodgers but I have concerns.
    I thought Friedman should have gone all out in trying to sign Scherzer but was pleased that he didn’t give Greinke crazy dollars.
    .

    I had high hopes for Holmes but I think the decision to trade for Hill was a good one and it almost accomplished what that trade was designed to do. Close enough in my book.
    .

    The Yankees traded for Chapman and then traded him to get Gleyber Torres. I would love to have Gleyber Torres on the Dodgers. He could be the long-term second baseman for the Dodgers or shortstop if Seager moves to third.
    .

    Friedman was supposed to be good at getting that player before he became that player and I ask why didn’t Friedman find a way to trade for Trea Turner like the Nationals did? Surely the Padres could have been offered a package that was better than they got from the Nationals.
    .

    And now we have to read this:
    Olive says:—-January 26, 2017 at 10:06 pm
    https://books.google.com/books?id=BRHXCwAAQBAJ&lpg=PA283&ots=dQFzq7i9d4&dq=molly%20knight%20hamels%20slyke&pg=PA283#v=onepage&q=molly%20knight%20hamels%20slyke&f=false
    .

    The Dodgers could be better past, present, future.

    1. Bum

      In that supposed trade, it doesn’t necessarily say, that it was just JDL, and Scott.

      It says that that trade, was headlined by Scott, and JDL.

      But this past history stuff, is what gets everyone at each other, and makes everyone focus on the past, instead of the future.

      And really does the author of this book, really know the inside stuff, or anyone else, that isn’t on the inside?

      And I am not taking either side in this deal.

      1. MJ,
        There are no sides here – just different viewpoints. It’s all good.

        For some reason, every time you post, it puts you in spam. I’m not sure why.

      2. Bum

        I shouldn’t have said that to you, because you are the one person, that never gets caught up with this stuff.

        1. I try not to MJ. The past often governs the future unless we learn from the past. I still want Friedman heading up the Dodgers but I also haven’t yet drank the Friedman kool aid.

  3. Keith Law’s Top 100 (Dodgers) Prospects:
    #6 Cody Bellinger
    Bellinger was a fourth-round pick out of football powerhouse Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, back in 2013, and even though it looks crazy now that a prospect this good fell to the fourth round, consider what he was then. The track record of high school first basemen taken high in the draft is poor, and teams shy away from that profile because there’s really no way out if something goes wrong — a first baseman has to hit to justify his existence, and if his defense is a problem, there’s nowhere to hide him. Bellinger also had a big, long swing that looked certain to result in a ton of strikeouts, and his father, former Yankee Clay, was a 25th man/utility guy, not a superstar like his son now appears to be.

    Cody is not his father in any respect. Scouts universally praise his ability to make substantial adjustments at the plate, even when moving up a level. He left the High-A California League, a hitter-friendly circuit, and cut his strikeout rate by a third despite moving up to Double-A, losing no power and even raising his OBP in the process. He generates a ton of torque through his hips, producing all that power, so he has been productive even as he’s figuring out who he is as a hitter — and who he is keeps getting better each season.

    Bellinger is also an elite defensive first baseman, providing a big target for fielding throws, moving exceptionally well around the bag, grading out as a 70 defender who might be even better, and he gives his team the flexibility to put him in any outfield spot, including center, if the need arises. Adrian Gonzalez with better defense? Eric Hosmer with power? Any reasonable comparison needs a modifier because Bellinger, still just 21 years old, has so much untapped upside yet to be discovered.
    #31 Alex Verdugo
    Verdugo has raced up the Dodgers’ chain with Cody Bellinger, and while Bellinger has emerged as a likely cornerstone player, Verdugo isn’t that far behind him. Verdugo was the Dodgers’ second-round pick in 2014, a year after they took Bellinger, and the Dodgers were aggressive with both of them, assigning them to Double-A in 2016 in their age-20 seasons. (Bellinger is 10 months older, but his birthday is in July, so their seasonal ages, determined by age on July 1st, are the same.)

    Verdugo was the youngest regular in the Texas League this year, and was above the league average in all three rate stats, yet had the third-lowest strikeout rate of anyone who played half a season or more there. (Second was fellow Dodgers prospect Willie Calhoun, who can hit but lacks a position.) Verdugo has played more center in pro ball, but there’s at least a 60/40 chance he’ll move to right field in favor of a better defender, although with good range and an 80 arm he could be an elite glove in the corner.

    The main concern on Verdugo isn’t skill; he can hit and should grow into above-average power. But his makeup is an issue, as Verdugo is a very intense player who has acted out in front of scouts in ways that seem to be affecting his trade value. He wouldn’t be the first 20-year-old who needs to grow up, and there are few 20-year-olds with his pure ability to square up a baseball.
    #40 Walker Buehler
    Buehler was headed for a top 15 pick in the 2015 MLB draft before his junior season, but missed time with a sore elbow, pitched poorly down the stretch, and slipped to the Dodgers at 24th overall, only to have the team confirm during his post-draft physical that he’d need Tommy John surgery. When he returned to the mound in 2016, he was a completely different animal, touching 100 mph with his fastball and sitting in the mid-90s, even though he said he wasn’t doing anything different to try to throw harder.

    The big variable around Buehler’s projection is what his stuff will look like during a regular season of work where he’s pitching deeper into games. Buehler threw 92-95 mph as a starter before the injury, typically working once a week, then 88-92 mph a few weeks before he was drafted; his summer 2016 spike was an entirely new level of velocity and arm speed, and we don’t know if he’ll maintain it. He had an above-average slider and changeup before the injury, but scouts have always been concerned about his slight build holding up in a 200-inning role. If he stays healthy and holds this newfound velocity, he’s a top 25 prospect, and could race through the low minors to the big leagues as soon as his workload permits.
    #46 Yadier Alvarez
    For raw stuff, Alvarez might be the best pitching prospect in the minors. He’ll work in the upper 90s and can show you a plus slider now and again, but the lack of consistency and command hold him out of the upper tier of this list. Alvarez signed as an amateur free agent out of Cuba for $16 million in 2016, which meant the Dodgers paid double that including the penalty for exceeding their bonus cap, so he’d better have a good arm … and he does. But he showed up last summer struggling to find the plate, so he didn’t debut in pro ball until this year’s Arizona League.

    The Dodgers slowed his tempo, so Alvarez’s delivery is more deliberate now, to the point that it’s surprising how hard he’s throwing, and he’s staying on top of the ball and getting more online to the plate. The slider is good, but the big power curveball might end up better if he focuses on that pitch. He might pitch with four distinct offerings, two or even three grading plus, but it’s thrown with grade 40 command, which would make him a big league starter but maybe just an average one. If the command improves — and there’s no delivery-related reason it can’t — then he has a chance to profile anywhere up to the top of a rotation.

    #73 Jose De Leon
    Oh… wait!
    Willie Calhoun and Brock Stewart were omitted…

  4. Think the glass half empty with 66. I see him at .260; 18HR; 65rbi. If he gets 400 at bats. Hard to disappoint from there.

  5. Good story on Grant Dayton’s fastball in Dodgers Digest. Amazing statistical work. His problem is HR’s. Otherwise a solid pen guy.

  6. Eibner WILL be there – he is on the 40 man roster so he isn’t a non-roster invitee. As to the rest, the younger guys are there to get a taste and for the brass to check their progress against higher level competition.

    Cash has a shot to make it as a reliever. Morrow too. Wilson has a shot if they decide to keep 3 catchers and allow Barnes to also play 2B and 3B, but this would mean that Taylor or Kike (or Culberson) won’t make it.

    As to the Braintrust, I doubt seriously that the Dodgers were going to be able to trade for Cole Hamels.

    I am more critical of they way that it has built a pitching staff the past few years. Last year was one of the few where the Dodgers were a competitive team that didn’t have good starting pitching since they moved to LA. Kershaw was great but was out for 2 months. Maeda (whose arm could fall off any day) was the only consistent pitcher they had and he turned into sawdust in September. Kazmir, McCarthy, Anderson – this is a failure on the part of the Braintrust – there really is no other way to look at it.

    The Kids who were stockpiled by the prior administration were the difference between oblivion and victory, Urias and Stripling especially.

    My concern for 2017 – more of the same. Kershaw will be the best again. Maeda – may be solid and steady again or his arm may still fall off. Kazmir, Hill and McCarthy won’t make 40 starts between them. Urias will have his innings limited again. And when the inevitable happens and the old and infirm take their rightful place on the DL, we will hear the Braintrust extolled for their farseeing ways and for the great “depth” they have arranged for the Dodgers. It still isn’t depth if they can’t pitch – it’s just guys on the DL.

    McCarthy and Kazmir are on the roster through ’18. Hill is here through 19 (age 40). We can only hope that some of the kids are up and pitching as regular members of the rotation by then.

  7. Ike Davis signed as a NRI. He was a pretty good hitter 3 or 4 years ago but not since then. Big slow left handed 1B.

  8. Ike Davis was signed to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. He is not on the 40-man roster and is not on the team’s plan barring the catastrophic. He does have 81 career HR and hit 32 in one year, long ago and far away. Who’s going to play 1B at OKC when Cody Bellinger gets called up?

Comments are closed.