LOS ANGELES -- Jharel Cotton headlines a quartet of Dodgers pitchers who will participate in the 2015 Arizona Fall League, added to the Glendale Desert Dogs roster. Cotton will be joined in the desert by Ralston Cash, Rob Rogers and Matt West.
The AFL begins on October 13 and plays for nearly six weeks, culminating in the Nov. 21 championship game.
Dodgers position players already announced on the Desert Dogs roster are outfielder Jacob Scavuzzo, catcher Kyle Farmer, and infielders Brandon Dixon and Brandon Trinkwon. Glendale will be managed by Class-A Rancho Cucamonga manager Bill Haselman.
Cotton had a breakout season, putting up a 2.45 ERA with 114 strikeouts and 31 walks in 95⅔ innings, a 30-percent strikeout rate. He was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late August to pitch in relief as a potential option for the Dodgers down the stretch, and he struck out nine and walked two in his 7⅓ innings of relief.
He will start in the Fall League, building up innings after missing the first two months of the season with a broken left wrist, his non-throwing hand. Cotton, 23, pitched 31 fewer innings in 2015 than he did in 2014.
Cash, a second-round pick in 2010, was a solid relief option for Double-A Tulsa all season, putting up a 3.41 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 28 walks in 58 innings. The right-handed Cash, who turned 24 in August, was quite effective against left-handed batters in 2015, holding them to .178/.275/.311 in 102 plate appearances.
"We've noticed consistently poor contact from left-handed hitters against Ralston's slider and cutter. Those guys simply beat that pitch into the ground. That pitch in particular intrigues our group," said Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler. "Additionally, we celebrate Ralston for who he is as a human. He brings something different to the table, culturally. He's different than the model of a traditional baseball man, and we appreciate that about him."
Rogers, 24, was drafted in the 32nd round in 2013. He put up a 3.28 ERA in 79⅔ innings in 2015, with 75 strikeouts and 32 walks. The right-hander pitched all but two of his 48 games this season for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
West was acquired from the Blue Jays on May 4, and pitched three scoreless innings in his two major league games with the Dodgers this season. The 26-year-old put up a 4.85 ERA in 26 combined appearances between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City since joining the Dodgers, with 34 strikeouts and 13 walks in 39 innings.
West at some point will leave the AFL to get married, much like Daniel Coulombe did in 2014. When West leaves, he will be replaced on Glendale's roster by left-handed Michael Johnson, a 24-year-old who struck out 75 and walked 24 in 70⅓ innings while putting up a 3.07 ERA for Rancho Cucamonga in 2015.