The LAD just got way younger, did they get better?
With 21-year-old LAD 2017 top prospect Cody Bellinger joining the Dodgers today and 20-year-old 2016 top prospect Julio Urias set to join the team on Thursday the LAD 25-man roster just got a whole lot younger.
But will it make them better?
Joe Davis said tonight that Dave Roberts said Urias is here to stay so we can book him into the rotation. I’m not even sure who he’s replacing. Alex Wood is pitching tomorrow night and Urias Thursday night. You could say Urias is replacing Alex Wood but Alex Wood had replaced Rich Hill. So when Rich Hill comes off the DL to pitch another abbreviated game before the blister forms again, who goes?
Won’t be Kershaw
Won’t be McCarthy
Won’t be Urias
That leaves Ryu or Kenta. Both have struggled so whoever Urias actually replaces it should be better for the Dodgers. Urias has the stuff to be the second best pitcher on this team. Right now.
Bellinger is basically replacing Joc Pederson on the roster until Pederson comes off the DL. Toles will move to CF against RHP and Bellinger will play LF. Against LHP it looks like Hernandez will play CF and Bellinger will play LF. This would make Bellinger a full-time starter, unlike the player he replaced on the roster. In time Bellinger might be better than Joc Pederson but is the young Bellinger better? Probably not. But……….. it is very possible that when Joc returns it will be Toles that is replaced by Bellinger. The odds are higher that young Bellinger can be better than Toles right now.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Bellinger will face a learning curve like most players getting their first taste of the majors, but if he can maintain his plate discipline he has a chance to provide a high on-base percentage and a few tape-measure home runs. Defensively there might be some misadventures in the outfield due to inexperience, but it also wouldn’t surprise if Bellinger shows he can hold his own. If Bellinger can adjust quickly and tap into his big power, he might just seize the Dodgers left field job for good and remain in the majors even after everyone gets healthy.
So yeah, the team is getting younger and probably better. Which is amazing when you are talking about a 21 and 20-year-old duo.
The pipeline started with Joc Pederson, last year saw Seager, Stewart, and Urias. This year we have Bellinger, and Verdugo thinks he should be considered in the near future. Eventually somebody in the Terrific Trio of Buehler/Alvarez/White will blow their way into Dodger Stadium.
This isn’t some 8-inch pipeline, this is the Alaskan pipeline on PED’s.