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Brock Stewart optioned as Dodgers send 20 to minor league camp

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Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

PHOENIX — The Dodgers made their first roster cuts of spring training on Saturday night, trimming the room by sending a whopping 20 players to the minor league side of Camelback Ranch.

Brock Stewart, Henry Owens, Tim Locastro and Dennis Santana were all optioned to the minors, while the following 16 were reassigned to minor league camp: Keibert Ruiz, Shawn Zarraga, Matt Beaty, Drew Jackson, Edwin Rios, Yusniel Diaz, D.J. Peters, Henry Ramos, Travis Taijeron, Zach Neal, Yaisel Sierra, Joe Broussard, Daniel Corcino, C.C. Lee, Brian Moran and Brian Schlitter.

The difference between the two transaction types is more technical than anything, with those on the 40-man roster optioned and the non-roster invitees simply reassigned.

Stewart is probably the biggest name on the list. But after an up-and-down 2017 season that was marred by a shoulder injury, his spring in 2018 has been inconsistent.

“He’s been working through some things mechanically,” manager Dave Roberts said of Stewart this week. “He’s healthy and feels good.”

Stewart is probably seventh or eighth on the Dodgers starting rotation depth chart and could use some time to get stretched out in minor league camp and/or Triple-A Oklahoma City once the season starts. With starting pitchers getting stretched out longer and longer in the major league spring games, the innings are harder and harder to come by.

Minor league games begin on Monday.

These moves leave 45 players in Dodgers major league camp. That includes Julio Urias, who is on the 60-day disabled list while recovering from left shoulder surgery, and Tom Koehler, who will open the season on the DL with an anterior capsule strain in his right shoulder.