Well we have played GM long enough, and yet they still will not listen to us. Now it is time to play Director of Player Development A couple of weeks back there was a blog that posed the challenge to name the starting rotation for the OKC Dodgers. Never let it be said that I would not accept such a challenge and I of course gave me 2 cents worth. I cannot absolutely remember who my five were, but I did premise my thoughts knowing that the Dodgers are very much into signing AAAA pitchers to filter into the OKC and Tulsa rotations during the year to not put undue pressure on the up and coming LAD rotation possibilities by pushing them to a level they do not belong. I think my five were Daniel Corcino, Caleb Ferguson, Dennis Santana, Mitchell White, and Andy Sopko. But I also thought that Ben Holmes was a likely candidate. We know Sopko is gone in the Russell Martin deal. During the 2018 season, the Dodgers added the following starters to the OKC and Tulsa rosters: Daniel CorcinoZach NealManny BanuelosTyler PillGuillermo MoscosoJustin De FratusLogan BawcomKyle LobsteinFrank Duncan Corcino has already re-signed with LAD, and it is a match that makes a great deal of sense. Corcino likes being with the Dodgers, and the Dodgers love his versatility. He is an emergency to be sure, but he was called last year (6/9) optioned back to OKC (6/13), DFA (7/4), cleared and outrighted to OKC (7/7), where he remained for the year. Daniel knows who he is and would relish the opportunity to get re-called to MLB. I am sure he can see the roster and the players in the Dodgers MiLB system and recognize that the chances LAD will re-call him are not high, but he loves the organization. I am a Daniel Corcino fan. Let’s see if I can place the current group of minor league starting pitchers into their initial assignment. I am going with 6 each, as that quite often is how many they keep.
OKC:Daniel Corcino, Caleb Ferguson, Dennis Santana, Ben Holmes, AAAA, AAAA Ferguson has been told he is still considered a starting pitcher, and I can see him starting the year at OKC. But if the bullpen needs a LHRP, he will most certainly get the call. I see Santana only getting recalled in an emergency. He is more of a 2020 potential, or more probable in the bullpen in late inning high leverage situations. Ben Holmes is a candidate for the bullpen once one of the Tulsa group is ready.
Tulsa:Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Mitchell White, Leo Crawford, Parker Curry, AAAA None of May, Gonsolin, or White will be blocked by AAAA pitchers if they pitch as well as expected at Tulsa. Tulsa could get a bevy of AAAA pitchers if May, Gonsolin, and White are moved to OKC, and none of the RC starters have shown they can compete at AA. As somewhat of a projection, I can see Michael Grove end up in Tulsa before September.
RC (Perhaps the toughest to predict):Edwin Uceta, Gerardo Carrillo, Jose Chacin, Max Gamboa, Chris Mathewson, Wills Montgomery I think Uceta, Carrillo, and Chacin will get every opportunity to shine at RC, and that Gamboa, Mathewson, and Montgomery will need to prove themselves in the rotation or look to the pen. That will be especially true if any of the Great Lakes starters prove they should get an early promotion.
Great Lakes:Michael Grove (to start with a quick promotion to RC)Josiah GrayJohn RooneyBryan WarzekJoel InoaJesus VargasVictor Gonzalez Because of the potential inclement and cold April weather at Great Lakes, I can see Grove staying in Arizona and then getting assigned to RC. But for this exercise I will place him at Great Lakes to start. Depending as to how the RC group fares, I can see both Josiah Gray and John Rooney getting moved to RC relatively early on as well. One thing the player development group does do well, is that they do not quit on the players. If the pitchers are not pitching well, they will keep shoving them out there, but not at the expense of not promoting a deserving player at a lower level. I suspect that Yadi Alvarez, Jordan Sheffield, and Melvin Jimenez will all be fully converted to relievers. Sheffield and Jimenez have already started that conversion, and Alvarez should (IMO). If Alvarez balks at relieving as Brock Stewart did, I would try to package him before all his value is relinquished as is Stewart’s. I see Braydon Fisher and Robinson Ortiz both being held over in extended ST in AZ and then getting assigned to Ogden in June. There is still no word on Morgan Cooper (that I have heard). One other player that I would have included was RHSP Isaac Anderson who has retired. I wish him well in whatever endeavor he chooses. My understanding was that he was a very good teammate.