GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers continued to pare their roster down before Monday's game with the A's, sending five pitchers to the minor league side. The club optioned Joe Wieland, Carlos Frias, Mike Bolsinger, Zach Lee and Chris Reed, leaving 53 players in camp.
There will be more roster cuts coming this week, perhaps even as soon as after Monday's game, but for now the camp casualties have been nine pitchers, including four non-roster pitchers who were reassigned to minor league camp on Saturday.
With starting pitchers starting to last deeper into games, and the wide-open bullpen competition heating up, there are simply not enough innings to go around in major league camp. The minor league side began full workouts on Saturday, and will begin playing games this Friday, giving ample opportunity for all of these pitchers to continue to get innings.
An argument could be made that these five pitchers optioned on Monday are essentially the starting rotation of Triple-A Oklahoma City, though Erik Bedard, Chad Gaudin and potentially a few others might have something to say about that.
At the very least, all five will be considered as call-ups should something happen to one of the five pitchers in the Dodgers' starting rotation. Wieland over the weekend explained his approach this spring.
"I'm preparing for opening day. I'm here to make the team. Being realistic, they have their five guys who if healthy and throwing well that's who they will go with," Wieland said. "I'm going to make the decision as hard as I can on them, and do everything I can. It's not in my control, but I'm just going to do what I can control , and that's go out every five days and be effective. If that's enough, it's enough. If not, I'll do what I can to be that next guy."
Of the 53 players remaining in major league camp, 26 are pitchers. Though with Brandon Beachy and Chris Withrow on the 60-day disabled list and both Kenley Jansen and Ben Rowen recovering from surgery, there are effectively 22 pitchers left in camp vying for a roster spot.