4 Dodgers who won't make the Opening Day roster but will contribute a lot in 2023
Gaaaaavin Stone is gonna be famous!! The Dodgers won't be able to keep this kid in the minor leagues for too long. His meteoric rise in 2022 earned him a non-roster invite to Spring Training, where, through Wednesday's action, he's tossed two scoreless innings (allowing one walk, one hit and striking out three).
The right-hander is looking promising, but the Dodgers probably want to see a bit more than six starts (totaling 23.1 innings) at Triple-A, which was his end-of-season workload in 2022. He finished with a 1.48 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 168 strikeouts in 26 games, totaling 121.1 innings, between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A.
The 24-year-old is nearing his MLB debut, and there's an obvious path for it to happen. Nobody would bet on this Dodgers rotation remaining healthy for the entirety of 2023. Julio Urías might be the only one to last the entire year unscathed. Clayton Kershaw hasn't seen a full healthy season since 2015. Tony Gonsolin dealt with a forearm issue at the tail end of 2022 and just sprained his ankle on March 6. Dustin May, on top of only pitching in 37 games since 2019, is entering his first full season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Noah Syndergaard is another oft-injured pitcher who just finished his first full workload in 2022 after Tommy John. There's a lot of liability here.
Ryan Pepiot will be the first line of defense, but as the season drags on, there will be a more urgent need for quality starts. Plus, the Dodgers are probably going to use 2023 to integrate as many top prospects into the mix as possible. Consider Stone among the main focuses for that project.