Dodgers giving this NRI pitching prospect chance to be next Bobby Miller at spring training

Mar 11, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A general view of game action between the Los Angeles Dodgers
Mar 11, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A general view of game action between the Los Angeles Dodgers / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the Dodgers released their full list of non-roster invitees (NRIs) to spring training. The list features 20 players, including some familiar names — Daniel Hudson, who pitched in the majors for the Dodgers last year; Dalton Rushing, their No. 1 prospect, per some outlets; and Trey Sweeney, who they acquired in a trade from the Yankees in December. All 20 will join the stars of the Dodgers' MLB roster at Camelback Ranch in February for the start of spring training on the 22nd.

Also getting an invite is No. 8 prospect and right-handed pitcher River Ryan, leapfrogging No. 5 prospect and recent import Jackson Ferris, who is not on the NRI list. Spring training will give Ryan a chance to make an impression on Dodgers' management and maybe get an early call-up in 2024. Last year, Bobby Miller also jumped over then-No. 1 prospect Diego Cartaya and is expected to be a big part of the Dodgers' rotation this season.

Dodgers give No. 8 prospect River Ryan a chance to perform at spring training

Ryan, an 11th-round pick for the Padres in 2021 who was traded to the Dodgers in 2022 in return for Matt Beaty, has moved quickly through the minors on the promise of a 60-grade fastball. He got off to a great start in Single-A in 2022, pitching 33 2/3 innings for a 2.67 ERA, then did even better in the High-A, with 14 innings and a 1.93 ERA. He's been moved up twice since then and got the bulk of his work in Double-A, but after being moved up to the Oklahoma City Dodgers, he wavered over seven innings to close out 2023 and his ERA ballooned above 10.00. However, the Dodgers clearly weren't put off by that struggle, as he's only one of three top prospects to get the nod for spring training.

Miller never actually saw spring training innings in 2023; he showed out in live batting practice against the hitters at camp and was called up to the majors in late May. He went on to pitch over 120 innings for the Dodgers and earned himself a middle/back rotation spot this year behind Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow. Now, Ryan has the opportunity to do the same. Even if he, like Miller, doesn't get innings in a Cactus League game, being around major league players and the rest of the organization could be a leap forward for him going into 2024.