It's getting near the end of August, which means that it is truly getting close to the home stretch of the season. However, the start of September also brings another important change to the field: expanded rosters. All MLB rosters are required to carry 28 players in September, up from the minimum of 25 and maximum of 26 throughout the rest of the season. This will be especially important for the Dodgers, who have amazing organizational depth that is waiting to be tested at the big-league level.
Gone are the days of 40-man September rosters down the stretch, but this season's roster expansion can still help the Dodgers' depth at a crucial juncture.
Many players who are called up in September this season will likely be familiar faces, but the possibility of guys getting their first look at the majors also remains. The Dodgers' needs have shifted greatly at different points of the season, but now that the trade deadline has passed and the Dodgers' acquisitions have played more, the identity of the 2023 Dodgers is clearer than it was just a few weeks ago. That makes it easier to tell which players from the minor leagues will be able to fit into the MLB roster and make an impact in September.
Dodgers players who could be called up Sept. 1
No. 5: Gavin Stone
Stone is easily the second most MLB-ready prospect of the Dodgers' top five prospects (second to Michael Busch), and would be viewed as a no-brainer for a September roster spot, especially after he was promoted to pitch Sunday at Fenway, then demoted again for an active arm.
He is not quite viewed kindly by many fans at the moment because of his major-league appearances this year. Prior to Sunday's outing, Stone had allowed 17 earned runs in 12 innings pitched this season. He's been trending up, though, following a relief appearance against Pittsburgh on July 4, which was his best in the majors. Stone pitched around five hits (all singles) and a walk with three strikeouts over two innings pitched, but also managed to limit the damage on his line to just one earned run. He then threw six solid innings of bulk in Beantown to win the Dodgers' weekend series, allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth to tarnish his line slightly.
After giving up four earned runs or more in his other three MLB starts in 2023 (all of which lasted four innings or less), this most recent appearance was a great sign for a possible turnaround by Stone.
Stone's Triple-A ERA climbed to 6.71 in his final start of June, but since then, he has been much better. He posted a 3.43 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 21 innings (four starts) in July, and continued that momentum into August. So far, Stone has a 2.25 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 20 innings (three starts, one relief appearance), and while Stone's walk rate is still a little high (4.5 BB/9 in August), his WHIP is down to 1.00 this month after he posted a strong 1.05 WHIP in July as well. Stone might have found his groove, and it's possible the Dodgers lean on that and bring him up in September to help keep the innings of the regular starters down.