For Matt Magill, Nov. 20 was a big day. It was the deadline for the Dodgers to set their roster for the Rule 5 draft, which meant adding prospects the team wanted to protect to the 40-man roster. Magill, who was drafted in the 31st round in 2008, had a pretty good idea that he would be added to the 40-man, but it still was a nervous time in the Magill household for him and his wife.
"It was kind of like draft day all over again. We were sitting and waiting. You have an idea that it could happen, but maybe it won't. My agent called and said, 'Just keep waiting for it'," Magill said. "It happened around 5 o'clock. De Jon (Watson, Dodgers director of player development) called me and said I was added. Up to this point, it's probably the best moment of my career."
Magill and Steven Ames were added to the 40-man roster on Nov. 20, and are in big league camp at Camelback Ranch for the first time in their career. For Magill, it was a validation of a breakout season in 2012.
"I'm proven what I can do, and the organization proved to me that they like what I've done, so it's really cool," he said.
Magill was 11-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 26 starts for Double-A Chattanooga, with 168 strikeouts in 146⅓ innings. He had a 2.38 ERA over his final 11 starts, with 79 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 68 innings.
"I was more confident with all my pitches, and throwing them all for strikes," he said. "I was more confident, and believed that I could get all these guys out. It was huge."
Magill, 23, plans to use his first big league camp as a learning experience.
"As the camp goes on I'll be able to meet guys more on a personal level. I haven't really gotten to talk to a lot of the big guys, but I'm just here to learn and watch," Magill said. "I'm just watching the older guys, how they work and go about their business. I'm here to learn from the knowledge of the coaches, just to sit back and listen and use what I can from everything."
Now that he's on the 40-man roster, Magill is one step closer to getting called up to the big leagues. But he isn't letting that distract him this spring.
"I'm just trying to think about each day-by-day. Whenever they need me, I'll be ready. That's all I can prepare myself for," Magill said. "It's all of our dreams to get the call."