Believe it or not, Walker Buehler has not chance of making the bullpen unless Andrew Friedman has a change of heart. Buehler will strictly be a starting pitcher this year (as he should be) and that will obviously take him out of the mix to make the pen. Buehler will probably start the season in Triple-A and make his first big league start shortly thereafter.
Dylan Baker and Henry Owens
In my eyes righty Dylan Baker and lefty Henry Owens, fall under the same description. Both pitchers were acquired early this offseason after being DFA’d and will have a hard time surpassing the other players on the roster.
Baker has been in the Indian’s minor league system for the past five seasons and has only gotten as high as Double-A where he played 13 games. He will start the year in Triple-A and probably stay there for the majority of the season. Baker will serve as depth in case of an injury.
Henry Owen has had a tough go through his professional career. Once a top prospect, Owens has been lackluster in both the majors and the minors but his youth should provide the Dodgers with some hope. Owens will work out his woes and refine his delivery in the minors to start the year and will not factor into the bullpen.
Wilmer Font, Edward Paredes and Brock Stewart
With the exception of Wilmer Font, two of the three names listed above will almost certainly make big league impacts in 2018.
Edward Paredes made his debut last year and looked really sharp at times but also showed some flaws in his game. The 31-year-old lefty has just ten big league appearance under his belt and for that reason alone I do not even see a strong spring pushing him into a major league role to break camp. Paredes is a good lefty specialist though and should make the trip from OKC to LA fairly often.
Brock Stewart was a really tough decision to make. He has proven himself to be a good pitcher both from the bullpen and the rotation but the Dodgers have made it clear that they want him, like Walker Buehler, to be a starter. Stewart will be stretched out like a starting pitcher in the spring and will probably headline the front end of Oklahoma City’s rotation.
Wilmer Font, like many others on the “who’s out” list, will be a depth piece in 2018. The reason I grouped him with Stewart and Paredes is because he has made a major league appearance with the Dodgers. His brief September stint counts for something in my book. Look for Font to be a usable Triple-A piece.