2. Bring Josiah Gray (and Andre Jackson?) to the Bigs
Dodgers top prospect Josiah Gray can help this roster sooner rather than later, and there’s no better time to see what you have than right after the deadline, when there might be some other newbies joining the roster (we’ll get to that in a minute).
Gray’s been largely absent from competition this season after the shortened (and canceled) 2020, safely building back up to full strength after suffering a shoulder impingement in his first action of the year. His most recent start was a well-timed stepping stone, though, featuring four innings of shutout ball, complemented by four strikeouts and zero walks. According to the Dodgers’ brass, Gray must be at a level where he can throw 75 pitches/five innings comfortably in order to be promoted. Extrapolating his most recent outing out on a longer timeline (53 and four) and you’ve got a clear roadmap that will allow him to join the big club in the coming weeks. Despite a lost 2020, April and May, Gray’s arrival no longer feels terribly far off. Whether he’ll be the Tony Gonsolin or Julio Urias of 2021, though, remains to be seen. Rotation or ‘pen, Josiah? What’s your speed?
And speaking of packing the ‘pen, might the Dodgers want to try Andre Jackson out there, too, to conserve some of his innings and spark the relief corps? The team’s Futures Game representative has a 1.06 WHIP in his age-25 season at Double-A Tulsa, and has tossed 50 innings (with 63 strikeouts) after 114.2 in 2019 and, obviously, zero last year. Conventional wisdom would dictate that a pitcher increase their innings step by step year over year, and Jackson probably would’ve been ticketed for 140-150 under normal circumstances. His previous career high seems like a fair cap this time around, though, and maybe some MLB work out of the back end might be a wiser way for him to spend September, at least. These could be two huge stretch run additions from the upper levels of LA’s system.