Dodgers: Breaking Down the Spring Training Position Battles

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25: Juan Uribe /
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Dodgers /

Not unlike any other spring training, there is competition for at least one if not two spots in the bullpen.  An argument can be made that Josh Fields and Ross Stripling should be locks for the Dodger bullpen.  And they probably are.  However, for the sake of argument, and also because the Dodgers also have two other very capable relievers in Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore, let’s assume there will be competition for these last two spots.

Stripling and Fields pitched well out of the ‘pen last year.  However, Stripling is being stretched as a starter in the spring just in case, so if a starter is injured or the Dodgers want him to build innings in the minors to start the season, there could be an opening.  Likewise, if Fields struggles in the spring, and either Yimi or Liberatore have a solid spring, Fields could find himself in the minors to start the 2018 season.

The beauty is all of these pitchers have minor league options remaining.  One dark horse candidate is Yaisel Sierra; the Cuban pitcher signed to the large multiyear deal before the 2016 season.  Sierra was outrighted off the 40-man roster after struggling as a starter.  Last year, in camp as a non-roster player, Sierra pitched well, as he began his first full season as a reliever.  The only wrinkle in this scenario is, if he is added to the 40 man roster, his multiyear contract will be added to the Dodgers payroll.  He is due roughly $20 million over the next four years.