Kendall Williams Makes His Spring Debut, Zach McKinstry and Sheldon Neuse Contribute

Part of the Ross Stripling Trade

When the Dodgers traded Ross Stripling to the Blue Jays at the July 31st 2020 Trade Deadline it was a bit shocking. The haul was to be two players-to-be-named-later. The next day it was announced that 2019 2nd round draft choice, Kendall Williams, was one of the pieces coming back to the Dodgers. Currently, MLB Pipeline has him ranked as the Dodgers’ 25th prospect.

The Dodgers invited Williams to Major League spring training in 2021 as a non-rostered player. He was one of the players we had not seen yet so when he appeared in the game today, March 19th, I was surprised but grateful.

Williams walked the first batter he faced and then game up a single. He proceded to strike out the next two batters before getting a groundout to finish the inning and the game. Congratulations Kendall Williams on a nice debut.

McKinstry and Neuse Keep Hitting

The top two rookie position players who are contending for a roster spot are Zach McKinstry and Sheldon Neuse. Today, they continued to contribute with McKinstry hitting an opposite field double and Neuse hit a line drive singe to the opposite field.

Dave Roberts has said that Chris Taylor, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios seem to be locks to make the team. With two catchers, that is a four-man bench. If the Dodgers keep 14 pitchers then there is not room for another position player. If they go with 13 pitchers either McKinstry or Neuse would make the team, McKinstry has more versatility but Neuse bats right-handed. With less than two weeks to Opening Day, things will be interesting.

Final Thoughts

With the 162 game season I could see the Dodgers going with 14 pitchers. That leaves McKinstry and Neuse back on the taxi squad. We’ll take a look at the pitching staff at a later time as we find out about the health of some of the pitchers. The Dodgers play the Padres on Saturday at 1:10 PM PST with Dustin May on the mound.

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