It’s cut time in spring training, where we are getting close enough to opening day that it’s time to start trimming rosters with competition heating up. Plus, with minor league games starting this coming week, there are more playing time opportunities on the other side of camp.
Seven Dodgers got sent to minor league camp on Sunday, most notably relief pitcher Josh Sborz. He’s the only one of the group on the 40-man roster, which means he was optioned rather than reassigned, in transactional jargon. Sborz, with his seven appearances and nine innings with the Dodgers last year, is the only one cut on Sunday who saw time in the majors last year.
Sborz had been 68 strikeouts against only 14 walks in 50 innings in Triple-A Oklahoma City last year, to go with his 4.68 ERA. He allowed only two home runs in Triple-A in 2019 despite long balls per game up 58% from the previous year. The right-hander allowed three runs in 3⅔ innings in his four appearances this spring, with three walks and no strikeouts.
Kyle Lobstein pitched 128 innings in the majors in 2014-16, but has spent the last three seasons in the minors, including a 2.56 ERA in seven starts for Double-A Tulsa in the Dodgers system last year. Tyler Gilbert, another left-hander sent down Sunday, was the only other member of the group to even reach Triple-A in his career.
Pitchers Marshall Kasowski and Jordan Sheffield also got reassigned to the minor league side, as did fellow non-roster invitees Cristian Santana, an infielder, and Stevie Berman, a catcher.
These cuts leave 51 players in big league camp for the Dodgers, which includes 23 pitchers and 28 position players.
In Sunday’s loss to the Rangers, Julio Urias struck out three in his three scoreless innings, but an errant fastball in the first inning hit former Dodgers prospect Willie Calhoun in the face. Calhoun was down on the field for several minutes and was carted off the field. He was taken to a nearby hospital in Phoenix, where a CT scan revealed a fractured jaw.
It’s unknown how long Calhoun will be out, but per the Rangers will have further testing on Monday.
Urias was visibly shaken after the hit by pitch.
#Dodgers Julio Urias said he was shaken by HBP of Willie Calhoun. "I wasn't myself after that," he said. The two were teammates in OKC in 2017. After the inning, Urias asked Rougned Odor for Calhoun's phone number, will be checking on him. "He's going to be in my prayers."— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 8, 2020