All three Dodgers players selected in December’s Rule 5 Draft stuck around with their new teams to open the regular season. After Gus Varland made the Brewers and Ryan Noda made the A’s, on Thursday the Pirates opening day roster also included left-handed pitcher Jose Hernandez.
On the rise
River Ryan has only pitched 47⅔ innings in the minors, all last year for the Dodgers after the 2021 draft pick was acquired from the Padres for Matt Beaty. Ryan missed out on top-100 prospect lists this preseason, but Keith Law at The Athletic was so enamored after watching Ryan on the backfields in Arizona that he feels the right-hander could be in the top 25 by the end of the year.
“He has to show he can handle a larger workload, and does have to continue throwing strikes and improving the command, but he has at least No. 2 starter upside and we’re not waiting on the stuff at all,” Law wrote.
Minor league CBA
Marc Normandin at Baseball Prospectus detailed the new minor league collective bargaining agreement, which was approved by players on Friday. Normandin noted the further shrinking of the minors with the reduction in reserve lists from 180 to 165 in season as early as 2024.
“We haven’t seen the fallout of fewer people getting the experience of pro ball just yet,” Normandin wrote, “but it’s going to impact MiLB and MLB on the player front as well as the coaching one, and that last bit will trickle down to college and high school, too.
Michael Baumann at FanGraphs also wrote about the minor league CBA, with salary increases that amount to a total of an extra $3 million per major league organization.
“Under this five-year agreement, life in the minor leagues will be hard. The pay won’t be very good, the job security minimal as the sport, by its very structure, continues to cull and eat its own young,” Baumann wrote. “But it will be, by orders of magnitude, easier and healthier than it was five years ago.
Taking a knee
You’ve probably seen video of a fan on Thursday who ran onto the outfield at Dodger Stadium to propose to his girlfriend in the pavilion, only to get tackled by security (the reaction from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was particularly noticeable). The story does have a happy ending though, as she said yes.