3 Dodgers DFA/release candidates who could lose 40-man roster spot before Opening Day

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Believe it or not, even with a roster lacking depth, the Los Angeles Dodgers still have some trimming to do before Opening Day. They did a bit in the form of a number of minor-league options this week, but that'll hardly finish the job.

The Dodgers have ongoing competitions up and down the roster and other situations impacted by injury during Spring Training. Some situations have already played themselves out, but others need the final two weeks before Opening Day to come to fruition.

There's no telling what Andrew Friedman might do, especially with how unpredictable these last few months have been, but Dodgers fans think they have an idea of who might be staying and who might be going (or, at least they hope whatever they think turns out to be the case).

These predictions can also get upended by the time the start of the season arrives, but it looks like we'll be trending in this direction.

3 Dodgers DFA/release candidates who could lose 40-man roster spot

Justin Bruihl

Bruihl's emergence in 2021 was impressive, but the right-hander took a considerable step back in 2022. It's right there in the numbers, too:

  • 2021 - 2.89 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 1.07 WHIP, 11 strikeouts in 18.2 innings (21 games)
  • 2022 - 3.80 ERA, 5.35 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, 13 strikeouts in 23.2 innings (24 games)
  • Spring Training - 12.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3 strikeouts in 3 innings (4 games)

Was it because he decreased his slider usage from 2021 to 2022? He also lost velocity on all of his pitches year over year:

  • Cutter in 2021 (88.2 MPH) vs 2022 (86.4 MPH)
  • Slider in 2021 (78.9 MPH) vs 2022 (77.5 MPH)
  • Sinker in 2021 (90.4 MPH) vs 2022 (88.7 MPH)

Not sure what's going on, but with a number of others like Tayler Scott, Ryan Pepiot, Andre Jackson and Phil Bickford outperforming him by a lot, his days in the bullpen could be numbered ... especially now that he's out with an injury.