The Dodgers on Sunday made their first four roster cuts of spring training, as they reassigned infielders Dallas McPherson, Nick Evans, and Ozzie Martinez, and pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz to minor league camp. The roster moves, which were made following the Dodgers' 5-1 win over the Indians on Sunday, brings the total number of players remaining in big league camp to 55.
Technically, sending catcher Eliezer Alfonzo to minor league camp on Feb. 21 and replacing him with Matt Wallach was the first spring roster move, but that was a unique situation with Alfonzo contracting dengue fever and not yet reporting to camp. The four moves Sunday were the first cuts involving players who were actually in camp.
McPherson singled in his only at-bat on Sunday but the former Angels third base prospect had just two hits and a walk in 14 spring plate appearances. He also played the final three innings at first base against the Indians and actually led the club with 33 innings thus far at the position in Cactus League play. But McPherson's defense left a little to be desired, and manager Don Mattingly, himself a nine-time Gold Glove winning first baseman, sounded less than enthused when discussing McPherson's defense.
"His defense has been good, but it hasn't been great," Mattingly said. "But in fairness to him he's playing a position secondary to him."
Evans is a corner infielder the Dodgers were trying to expand into the outfield as well to increase his versatility, as he played 20 innings in left field so far in the spring. But Evans, who was 3-for-12 with a walk in Cactus League play, had fallen behind Brian Barden in the infielder turned infielder-outfielder depth chart.
De La Cruz struck out the only batter he faced on Sunday and actually picked up the victory over Cleveland, and all five of his recorded Cactus League outs have been strikeouts. But the left-handed pitcher also allowed three hits, three walks, and four runs in his three appearances and sported a 21.60 ERA.
Martinez, acquired from the White Sox last July 10 for cash considerations, was 1-for-9 in six spring games.
The roster cuts reduce the total number of non-roster invitees in camp to 15.