News and Nuggets from the Minors
Now that Spring Training games are underway, there will be many great articles and interviews on some of the top prospects in the game. For now, I will highlight some interesting news and notes from spring training every couple of weeks or so. Once the season starts, News and Nuggets will be coming at you on a weekly basis!
Dustin May on the outside looking in?
It is looking less and less likely that Dustin May will be on the Opening Day roster for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dave Roberts was quoted as saying that May is not being evaluated for a bullpen role. So with the starting rotation pretty much set (Buehler, Kershaw, Price, Urias, and Wood) May will probably begin the season in Triple-A. After this article, written by Bill Plunkett, it was reported that May has not been throwing due to a lingering side injury. With both nuggets of information, you should probably steer clear from drafting him highly in your redraft leagues. However, from a dynasty league standpoint, the news does not affect his status as one of the better pitching prospects in the game. If you are rebuilding, you might want to ask the May owner if they would be willing to move him for a ready-now pitcher.
Swing change for Keibert Ruiz?
2019 was a year that Keibert Ruiz probably wants to forget. After performing well for the last couple of years in the minors, he struggled mightily and was passed on the depth chart by another catcher in the Dodgers system, Will Smith. Ruiz is a great defensive catcher and there was hope that the bat would catch up at some point. In a post by Daniel Starkland, Ruiz has yet to make his Cactus League debut because he is working on a swing change. The Dodgers manager was quoted as saying “It’s more of just trying to get his path to the ball a little bit not just underneath. He kind of collapses, so there are some things we’ve been doing with his body and understanding how to attack the hitting zone the right way. He understands what we’re trying to do and he’ll get plenty of at-bats.”
Ruiz has really fallen on many prospect lists based on his performance and how well Will Smith looked in his debut. If he stays with the Dodgers, I could see Smith and Ruiz splitting time, which would kill both of their values. I will be checking out this new swing when he plays in Spring Training games and if it looks great, I might talk with some owners about acquiring him. There is still a non-zero chance the Dodgers trade him to acquire something at the trade deadline.
Forrest Whitley going old school
This time last year, Forrest Whitley was thought to be on the verge of making his major league debut with the Houston Astros. However, due to some injuries and awful performance, he never made it to Minute Maid Park. In a recent video tweet by MLB writer Brian McTaggart, Whitley revealed he is going back to his high school mechanics.
Forrest Whitley went back to using the arm swing he used in high school pic.twitter.com/VQDbPgyyeE
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 26, 2020
This is pretty exciting news and reminds me of Lucas Gioltio’s transformation last year. He also returned to his high school mechanics and became a top-25 pitcher. I will be watching his Spring Training starts and if all goes well, a spot in the Astros rotation is most definitely his.
Brandon Marsh sidelined by an elbow injury
After a pretty impressive 2019 season as well as an AFL showing, it looks like Brandon Marsh will start the season late due to a strain in his elbow. He sustained the injury making a diving catch in a recent Cactus League game. Marsh is immensely talented but has struggled to stay on the field. He has back issues and a sprained ankle that caused him to miss time in recent seasons. While this injury limits his chances of making it to the big leagues this year, his overall stock in dynasty leagues is still very high.