SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There were no surprises as the Dodgers made their first round of roster cuts on Monday, trimming their big league camp roster to 45 players with just over two weeks left in Spring Training.
Among those cut Monday were catcher Keibert Ruiz and right-hander Josiah Gray, the top two prospects in the organization according to MLB Pipeline. Neither Ruiz or Gray were expected to break camp with the big league roster. Ruiz came into camp as the No. 3 catcher behind Will Smith and Austin Barnes, but the 22-year-old missed the majority of camp with a visa issue. Since returning, he is 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
“We just didn’t get to see him as much as we would’ve liked,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts about Ruiz. “But just very impressed with the way he looks and how he’s matured.”
As for Gray, he’ll also start the season at the alternate training site and will surely headline the Dodgers’ Triple-A rotation once those games begin. With the Dodgers having seven other big league starters on the roster, Gray will likely be a depth piece for Los Angeles for most of the season. The Dodgers are high on his future.
“The starters are building up and he needs to build up as a starter and get on a regular routine and continue to fine-tune some things,” Roberts said. “I thought Jojo had a good camp and he’s only going to get better.”
Catcher Hunter Feduccia, infielders Omar Estévez, Devin Mann, Leonel Valera and Miguel Vargas, outfielders Ryan Noda, Zach Reks, Luke Raley and James Outman and pitchers Alex Vesia, Andre Jackson, Edwin Uceta, Michael Grove, Landon Knack, Nolan Long, Jose Martinez, Robinson Ortiz, Gus Varland and Kendall Williams rounded out the cuts.
Ruiz, Reks, Raley, Vesia, Carrillo, Jackson and Uceta are all on the 40-man roster and were optioned to the Minors.
Players in the first round of cuts are still allowed to play in Spring Training games, but trimming the roster allows the Dodgers to begin zeroing in on making decisions toward setting up their 26-man Opening Day roster.
“The curveball obviously plays and the life to the fastball, but I’m just really impressed with the command of the fastball,” Roberts said about Nelson. “And he really commands that breaking ball. To be able to get right and left out, it’s been very impressive this spring.”
Davidson, on the other hand, could be a right-handed bench option for the Dodgers. He has experimented with pitching in the past and the Dodgers are looking into it, but his value on the Opening Day roster would come as a right-handed bat off the bench. Matt Beaty is still the favorite to get one of the last bench spots for the Dodgers, but Davidson is not out of the competition.
If the Dodgers elect to add Nelson, Davidson or any other non-roster invitee to the Opening Day roster, they’ll have to make room on the 40-man roster. Moving Tommy Kahnle, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, to the 60-day injured list is the likely move.