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Dodgers Announce Initial 51-Man Player Pool as Coronavirus Cases Surge in Los Angeles

The Major League Baseball deadline for teams to submit their initial summer camp player pool was on Sunday, and the Los Angeles Dodgers publicly announced 51 players that would be uniting at Dodger Stadium on July 1 for the second edition of spring training.

Each team’s player pool can include up to 60 players, but as
Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman said on a Zoom
conference call on Thursday, the team was not expected to announce all 60
players at once.

“We may stagger it a little bit to buy some time,”
Friedman said on the call. “Our thought process in putting together the
60-man is trying to balance whether or not this might be the only reps some of
our prospects get this year.

“There’s just a lot that’s up in the air. I guess first
and foremost, as deep as we are, and as excited as we are about our 26-man,
40-man, and prospects behind it, we don’t have 60 guys that we feel like could
step in and help us win a Major League game this year.

“So we’re going to make sure we balance depth and
figure out which of our prospects either need reps or pitchers that could
really use some increase in workload, and just try to balance to make sure
we’re protected and covered when we need to be, but also a really good
experience for some of our prospects.”

Teams are free to change the makeup of the pool as they
choose, and can add players at a later date, but in order to be eligible to
participate in what MLB is calling “summer camp” or “spring
training 2.0” or participate in regular season games, the players must be
included in the 60-man pool.

The reason why the Dodgers didn’t initially chose 60 names and then make changes later, is because once you remove a player from the 60-man player pool, they would have to go waivers or be traded, similar to a player on the 40-man roster who is removed for non-injury related reasons.

The Dodgers chose every player on their 40-man roster, seven players that were invited to spring training back in February, and four additional players within the organization. In total, there are 28 pitchers, five catchers, seven infielders, seven outfielders, and four infielders/outfielders.

The Dodgers 51-man player pool. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

All 51 players are expected to report to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, July 1, when summer workouts are slated to begin. In addition to Chavez Ravine, Friedman announced on Thursday that the team would also use University of Southern California’s Dedeaux Field as an alternate training site during the season.

Once the season begins on July 24, the USC athletics field is
expected to be where all the remaining players not on the initial 30-man
Opening Day roster will workout and train during the day.

On the same call, Friedman announced that several members of the organization had tested positive for the coronavirus. Friedman did not disclose which players had tested positive, if any, out of respect for their privacy. However, he did note that out of all the positive tests, “none have resulted in symptoms that have been problematic.”

Meanwhile, the resumption of the baseball season is occurring
when 48 out of the 50 states are currently experiencing a rise in coronavirus
cases. California is one of a handful of states that have seen an explosion in
positive cases recently, with Los Angeles County experiencing the majority of
those cases.

As of Monday, LA County will eclipse over 100,000 confirmed
cases of the coronavirus and over 3,300 deaths. In the last week alone, LA
County has had over 37,500 new confirmed cases with an all-time single-day high
of 7,150 last Tuesday. Needless to say, it’s not exactly the best time for
players to be travelling from all over the country to the new COVID-19 hotspot
of Los Angeles.

“I think there’s no question we’re going to have a decent number of positive tests in spring training and during the season,” admitted Friedman. “And to me, it’s much more about how quick we are able to respond to that, the treatment options, the quarantining part of it, making sure it doesn’t spread among the group.”

The player pool as broken down by position:

Pitchers (28):

Scott Alexander (L), Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Gerardo Carrillo*, Caleb Ferguson (L), Dylan Floro, Tony Gonsolin, Victor González (L), Brusdar Graterol, Josiah Gray*, Michael Grove*, Andre Jackson*, Kenley Jansen, Marshall Kasowski*, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw (L), Adam Kolarek (L), Dustin May, Jimmy Nelson, David Price (L), Dennis Santana, Josh Sborz, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Edwin Uceta*, Julio Urías (L), Mitch White, Alex Wood (L)

Catchers (5):

Austin Barnes, Diego Cartaya*, Rocky Gale*, Keibert Ruiz, Will Smith

Infielders (7):

Matt Beaty, Omar Estevez*, Gavin Lux, Max Muncy, Edwin Ríos, Corey Seager, Justin Turner

Outfielders (7):

Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, DJ Peters, AJ Pollock, Luke Raley, Zach Reks*, Cody Thomas*

Infielder/Outfielder (4):

Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, Zach McKinstry, Chris Taylor

*Indicates non 40-Man Roster


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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