The Dodgers added pitchers Landon Knack and Nick Frasso as well as catcher Hunter Feduccia to the 40-man roster on Tuesday, the date major league teams set their reserve lists in preparation for December’s Rule 5 Draft.
Knack and Frasso join a group of young, talented, and inexperienced starting pitchers on the 40-man roster. Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Emmet Sheehan, Michael Grove, and Kyle Hurt were all rookies in 2023, and have a combined 61 major league starts. As of now, those five pitchers plus Ryan Yarbrough, Knack, and Frasso form the Dodgers healthy rotation depth chart behind Walker Buehler, who is returning from his second Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair.
Knack had a 2.51 ERA in 22 starts between Tulsa (10 starts) and Oklahoma City (12), with 99 strikeouts and 30 walks in 100⅓ innings. In October, Knack was named the Dodgers pitching prospect of the year by Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra, and Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com.
The Dodgers drafted Knack in the second round in 2020 out of East Tennessee State.
He got promoted to Triple-A in mid-June, in the same week his Tulsa teammate Sheehan was going to join him in Oklahoma City but instead made his major league debut in Los Angeles.
Six rookie pitchers debuted for the Dodgers in 2023, and Knack nearly joined that group. He joined the team in Los Angeles just before the All-Star break on the taxi squad as the team was dealing with several injuries at the time. But Knack wasn’t called up to the majors.
Knack’s strikeout rate plummeted in Triple-A (20.2 percent, after 27.4 percent in Double-A) and his walk rate soared (9.6 percent, after 5.4 percent), but the right-hander still impressed with Oklahoma City, putting up a 2.93 in 10 starts in a league that had a 5.70 ERA.
He had outings of six scoreless innings and seven innings, one run in Triple-A, and his 7⅔-inning start on June 10 for Tulsa was the longest appearance by any Dodgers pitcher in the organization in 2023.
Knack did leave his August 24 start after just two innings, and was placed on the injured list a day later. He missed the final month of the season.
The Dodgers acquired Frasso from the Blue Jays in August 2022 in the Mitch White trade, and the right-hander had a 3.77 ERA with 107 strikeouts and 31 walks in 93 innings between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Frasso, who turned 25 in October, struck out 26.7 percent of his batters faced on the season, and was named Texas League pitcher of the month in April for Tulsa.
Toronto drafted Frasso in the fourth round in 2020 out of Loyola Marymount.
Frasso missed three weeks in June with what was described on a Tulsa game broadcast as “a cramp in his right shoulder” by play-by-play broadcaster Dennis Higgins, but was otherwise healthy. His 25 starts were second-most in the Dodgers minor leagues in 2023, behind only Maddux Bruns.
Frasso wasn’t pushed for most of the year, maxing out at five innings in five of his 21 starts in Double-A. He didn’t top 77 pitches for Tulsa until his final two starts. Then, coupled with his brief time in Oklahoma City, Frasso threw 80 or more pitches in five of his last six starts, and pitched six (scoreless) and 5⅔ innings in his first two starts in Triple-A.
MLB Pipeline rated Frasso as their No. 65-overall prospect in baseball at midseason, noting in a scouting report, “Frasso can devastate hitters with his heater, which sits at 95-97 mph, touches 100 and plays even better than its velocity thanks to armside run and impressive extension in his delivery.”
Baseball Prospectus had Frasso ranked No. 51 in their July prospect list update.
Feduccia gives the Dodgers a third useable catcher on the 40-man roster, and one with a season and a half of Triple-A experience. He’s technically the fourth catcher on the roster, but Diego Cartaya is just 22 years old and struggled badly in Double-A last season, hitting just .189/.278/.379 for Tulsa.
Feduccia hit .279/.387/.451 with a 106 wRC+, 18 doubles, and 11 home runs in 90 games for Oklahoma City in 2023, and had above-average plate discipline with a 15.3-percent walk rate and 20.8-percent strikeout rate.
He also homered in Game 1 of the Pacific Coast League championship series, which Oklahoma City swept in two games.
The Dodgers drafted Fedducia in the 12th round in 2018 out of LSU, and he played a ton in spring training this year as a non-roster invitee, gaining experience catching in games especially when both Will Smith and Austin Barnes were away at the World Baseball Classic.
Smith and Barnes have been pretty durable over the last four seasons, starting 98.7 percent of Dodgers games behind the plate dating back to 2020. In the last two seasons when Smith was sidelined on the injured list, the team added a veteran who was designated for assignment after fill-in duty — Tony Wolters in 2022, and Austin Wynns in 2023.
With Feduccia, who turns 27 in June, on the roster, the Dodgers now have an in-house fill-in for those potential situations, and one who hits left-handed to boot.
These additions give the Dodgers 38 players on the 40-man roster, including 22 pitchers.