Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: 3 Pitchers to Watch this Spring Training

Spring training is something baseball fans look forward to every year, because it brings us one step closer to real baseball. In general, though, the last few weeks of spring can be pretty dull as the monotony of meaningless games has us begging for the real season to start.

This year, though, spring training for the Dodgers could be a little more interesting, simply because there are so many questions that need to be answered. Let’s look specifically at the pitching side and look at three pitchers to keep an eye on this spring.

Noah Syndergaard

Syndergaard might be LA’s most fascinating storyline this spring. If he pitches like he did last year, he’s a solid number-five starter they don’t mind bumping out of the rotation if and when one of the prospects is ready for prime time. But if Los Angeles can help Syndergaard regain his pre-Tommy John form (and fastball), as he’s said is his goal, he could be a game-changer. The entire Dodgers rotation is full of guys who, if they pitch their best, could get Cy Young votes at the end of the year. It’s also full of guys who, if things go wrong, could struggle or spend a lot of time watching from the injured list.

Syndergaard kind of encapsulates both ends of that spectrum, which makes him a fascinating storyline.

Dustin May

May came back from Tommy John surgery late last season and made six up-and-down starts before being shut down because of a lower-back issue. After a full, healthy offseason, May should come into spring ready to go, but how ready he is and how willing Los Angeles is to throw him right into the fire both remain to be seen.

May has never thrown more than 56 innings in a big-league season. His career high overall is 141.1 innings in 2019 between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors. With the shortened season in 2020 followed by his injury-shortened seasons in 2021 and 2022, it seems like the Dodgers might want to ease him back into a full workload. What would that look like? Well, that’s something we’ll start to get a feel for in the spring, which makes him one to watch.

Bobby Miller & Gavin Stone

Yeah, I know, it’s cheating to put two guys in one spot, but Miller and Stone are in similar situations even if they’re not extremely similar pitchers. They’re at about the same point in their minor-league progression, and both are knocking on the door of the big leagues. Stone had more success in the minors last year, but Miller has a higher talent ceiling. Both should be ready to make starts in Los Angeles this year.

With question marks around Syndergaard and May, among others, Miller and/or Stone could be called into action sooner than later. The Dodgers also have Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove available for spot starts, but a big storyline this spring will be watching Miller and Stone compete against big-league talent and trying to get a feel for how ready they are.

There should be enough intrigue and suspense this spring to get us most of the way through spring training before we’re bored to tears and pleading for Opening Day to hurry up and get here.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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