3 dark horse candidates for the last spot in the Dodgers' Opening Day rotation

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Nick Frasso

Frasso, the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect in 2023, has yet to pitch in the major leagues but is currently on their 40-man roster as a Rule 5 draft protectee from back in December. He was a fourth-round draft pick for the Blue Jays in 2020 and was traded to the Dodgers in 2022 with another prospect, Moises Brito, in exchange for reliever Mitch White and prospect Alex De Jesus. He was ranked No. 25 for the Blue Jays in 2021 but shot up the rankings when he came over to the Dodgers.

He was almost unhittable in A-ball and High-A with the Blue Jays, with a 0.76 ERA over 36 2/3 innings before he was traded. With the Great Lakes Loons, he leveled out a little and pitched 5 2/3 innings for a 1.59 ERA, but the Dodgers were clearly excited about what they were seeing, considering he was promoted to Double-A to close out the season. However, he struggled a lot more there and put up a 5.40 ERA. He started 2023 at that level, but finished the year in Triple-A before being moved to the major league roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

Despite the fact that he hasn't been quite as dominant in the higher minors as he was in the lower ones, the Dodgers could take a chance on him as their No. 5 if they're wary about giving the ball back to Stone after his struggles last year. It would likely only be a temporary measure, but it could give the team a preview at what he's capable of in MLB.