Sunday, January 12, 2014

Seth Rosin's chances of remaining with Dodgers better than some expect

When the Dodgers acquired right-hander Seth Rosin from the Mets, following New York selecting him in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft, not much was made about it at the time.

Rosin, 25, has never pitched above Double-A, and was just mediocre at the level in 2013 (4.33 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 6.8 K/9). But that was as a starting pitcher. He'll shift back to the bullpen, where he has spent a majority of his minor-league innings.

At 6'6, 250 pounds, it's hard to miss him on the field. With a low-90s fastball that touches 94 MPH, he has the velocity to succeed in the majors. He also seems to have the command to do so. His career walks per nine innings rate is 2.7. Sure, it'd probably tick up a bit in the majors, but he's adept at throwing strikes.

If Rosin were able to miss more bats consistently, he could find himself in a Major League bullpen. To make the Dodgers' bullpen, a lot of things are going to have to go in his favor.

Dodger relievers with MLB deals
J.P. Howell
Kenley Jansen
Brandon League
Chris Perez
Brian Wilson
Jamey Wright

Dodger relievers with MiLB options
Jose Dominguez
Paco Rodriguez
Chris Withrow

Barring anything unforeseen, all six of the pitchers from the first list are going to make the team in some fashion. The only conceivable way one doesn't is if League is designated for assignment.

Of the three on the second list, Rodriguez is a sure bet to be in the Dodgers' bullpen come opening day. If he weren't, that means Howell would be the team's only left-handed reliever.

Eric Stephen wrote a piece about Rosin earlier this week. He got an interesting quote from General Manager Ned Colletti.
"'I'm very interested in seeing what he can bring. Great arm, very competitive, very sharp,' (Colletti) said. 'He may be a power arm out of the pen, he may be somebody who could pitch multiple innings out of the pen, he could be a spot starter.'"
That versatility is an attractive feature to have, especially to the Dodgers, which lack a true long-reliever right now.

Colletti also had good things to say about him in Bill Plunkett's article on Baseball America on Sunday.
"'We had good reports on him,' (Colletti said). 'He's a big guy with a live arm and he's a smart kid. The day we traded for him, he finished his last final to get his degree from the University of Minnesota.

'That doesn’t speak to the baseball side but it says something about the kid.'"
This probably means absolutely nothing, but the Dodgers' 2013 first-round pick Chris Anderson is from the Minnesota area and second-rounder Tom Windle went to the University of Minnesota. Just interesting to note.

Rosin was invited to the Dodgers' Winter Development Program, the Dodgers' annual symposium-type even for prospects and young players close to the majors. If the Dodgers didn't really think Rosin had a chance to make the club, he would not have been invited.

As a Rule 5 draftee, Rosin would have to be on the active roster when the seasons start -- either on the 25-man roster or on the disabled list. If the Dodgers do not retain him, he'd be placed on waivers for any team to claim. If he goes unclaimed, he'd have to be offered back to the Phillies for $25,000. If they refuse, the Dodgers could then send him to the minor leagues. The Dodgers could also negotiate a trade with Philadelphia to keep him around. I don't see him making it that far. If he throws well in spring, the Dodgers could find a way to keep him. If he is waived, he'd surely be claimed.

As a flyball pitcher, his profile fits well in Dodger Stadium. I put a 70 percent chance he'd be cut to make room on the 40-man roster. After hearing the good things about him from the Dodgers, I'm not so certain.

A team can never have too much pitching. That adage usually holds true, unless one of those pitchers is a Rule 5 draftee.

It's a tough road ahead for Rosin, but he has a better chance of remaining in Los Angeles than it may seem. I'll say this: I'd take Rosin over league in a heartbeat.

Photo credit: woolenium, Flickr

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