Jake Lamb, Kevin Pillar Will Not Make Dodgers’ Roster
The Dodgers reassigned several non-roster invitees to minor league camp today, including Jake Lamb, Kevin Pillar, Tony Wolters, Shane Greene, Reyes Moronta, Tomas Telis, Stefen Romero and Eddy Alvarez.
While many minor league deals for veterans contain out clauses if they don’t make the roster, Lamb will remain with the Dodgers, per MLB.com’s Juan Toribio (Twitter link). His minor league deal does have out clauses in both May and July, Toribio adds. Similarly, The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya tweets that Pillar passed on his first opt-out opportunity (April 2) but has other opt-out chances later in the deal.
Lamb had a huge Spring Training, going 9-for-27 with a pair of homers and three doubles, but his bid to make the roster as a corner bat off the bench will come up a bit short, at least initially. Los Angeles is going with a short three-man bench to begin the season, deferring to a slate of 16 pitchers at least early on in the wake of an abbreviated Spring Training.
Pillar, meanwhile, signed a bit later and had just two hits in 18 plate appearances, albeit one of them being a home run. He, in particular, seems like a candidate to eventually get a look as a bench option for the Dodgers, who don’t look as though they’ll carry a traditional fourth outfielder alongside backup catcher Austin Barnes, utility infielder Hanser Alberto and infielder/outfielder Edwin Rios. The recent trade of AJ Pollock thinned out the outfield mix in L.A., likely leaving Rios and infielder Gavin Lux as the backup options to Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor across the outfield.
It’s not yet clear whether all of the players who were reassigned today will stick with the team and head to the minors, though it’s common this time of year to see veterans on non-roster deals return to the open market or, in some instances, be traded to another club that has a more clear opening for their services.