There is a lot left to happen between now and Opening Day 2012, but I think there could be a surprise or two come next season.
Here’s why I think that – Mike MacDougal had a nice season last year, which means that someone might want to overpay for him. As much as liked what he did in 2011, he’s not worth a big contract. There are also allegedly several teams looking at Jon Broxton, but I can’t see anyone paying him a lot, so if it’s close, he might be back in LA where he is comfortable (or not). Additionally, Dana Eveland and Hong Chih Kuo will probably be non-tendered, so both could be back, one could be back, or neither could be back. We really don’t know, do we?
What I do know is that the Dodgers have a plethora of young arms. Cole St. Clair is being exposed to the Rule 5 draft and I keep hearing that he is ready for the majors, but I have serious reservations that he can pitch at the major league level. His fastball tops out at a Ted Lillyish 87 MPH at times and I can’t see him being really successful. Ethan Martin was also exposed to the Rule 5 draft, but it would be a streatch to expect anyone to keep him all season.
So, who could be the pitchers who might make the team next spring? I have a few suggestions:
- Steve Ames – He is flying a bit under the radar, but who could conceivably make the team in the Spring if the above-mentioned players walk. He is a strikeout artist and has a live arm made for the pen. Watch him. The odds are against him since he is not on the 40-man roster, but he could be a factor.
- Allen Webster – He’s my Top Dodger Prospect. I think he can be a Number Two Starter. The question is: when will he be ready? I’ll tell you this right now: this guy will impress you with his moxie and “stuff.”
- Stephen Fife – Nedcompoop got him from Beantown in the you-know-who trade. He has a good pitchers body and the ability throw several pitches. Scouts think he can be a starter if he can utilize them all and he does pound the strike zone. He’s a darkhorse candidate to make the show.
- Josh Lindblom – Now that the Dodgers realize he’s a reliever, watch him “blom” is 2012.
Those are my TOP 4 who could make the team next year (in no particular order).
Do you have a different idea? I’d like to hear it….