Another day, another round of Dodgers roster cuts, with seven more sent to minor league camp after Monday’s game. Zach McKinstry, Keibert Ruiz, DJ Peters, and Luke Raley were optioned, while non-roster invitees Brett de Geus, Jacob Amaya, and Omar Estevez were reassigned.
McKinstry was the standout here, after his breakout 2019 season that saw him hit .300/.366/.516 with 19 home runs across Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. This spring he was hitting .407/.448/.778 (11-for-27) with two home runs, two doubles, and a triple.
The 33rd-round draft pick in 2016 out of Central Michigan played second base, shortstop, third base, left field and center field last year, and has played five positions this spring as well.
McKinstry was profiled by Jorge Castillo over the weekend in the LA Times:
“He’s really performed himself into being a real guy as far as being on the roster and being one of the prospects,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “You really pull for guys like that. He’s a baseball player — and I use that adjective a lot. He can play anywhere on the diamond, he’s an intelligent player. He conducts really good at-bats. He’s a guy that I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him sometime this year.”
The cuts on Monday reduce the Dodgers’ roster down to 44 in major league camp — 22 pitchers, and 22 position players.
Fewer players aren’t the only reduction in the clubhouse. Beginning Tuesday, Major League Baseball will limit clubhouse access for players and essential personnel on a temporary basis, amid growing concerns over the coronavirus.
Reporters won’t be let into clubhouses in the NBA, NHL, and MLS as well, though will be granted access to players in different settings. But for now, the games go on as planned.
“The health and safety of everyone in our communities is of the utmost importance to us,” MLB said in a statement. “We have been engaging on an ongoing basis with a wide range of public health experts, infectious disease specialists, and governmental agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to obtain the latest information.
“We are regularly conveying the guidance from these experts to Clubs, players, and staff regarding prevention, good hygiene practices and the latest recommendations related to travel. We are continuing to monitor developments and will adjust as necessary. While MLB recognizes the fluidity of this rapidly evolving situation, our current intention is to play Spring Training and regular season games as scheduled.”