Editorial: Caleb Ferguson’s Role with the Dodgers in 2019

In 2018, Caleb Ferguson, one of the Dodgers top pitching prospects at the time, broke onto the Major League scene to help a Dodgers team that was plagued by injury and looking for a spark. And in the team’s hour of need, Ferguson came through in a big way.

Caleb Ferguson, a 22 year old left-hander out of the Ohioan town of West Jefferson, tossed 49.0 innings for the Dodgers in his debut season of 2018. In his time with the Dodgers, the young pitcher rung up 59 batters on strikeouts while posting a 3.49 ERA. Ferguson also pitched in six postseason games for the Dodgers, spanning across the NLDS and NLCS of 2018. In his six postseason appearances, Ferguson always held the opposing team scoreless, giving him a perfect 0.00 career ERA in October.

While Ferguson assisted the Dodgers greatly through the regular season and the first two rounds of the postseason, he was not granted a spot on the Dodgers’ 25-man World Series roster.

This offseason, the Dodgers signed the former Boston Red Sox flamethrower, Joe Kelly, to a three year contract. However, even with this signing, Ferguson is without a doubt a candidate to make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. Below is how I predict the team’s bullpen to shake out, following Spring Training:

  • Ross Stripling/RHP (Long Relief)
  • Caleb Ferguson/LHP (Long Relief)
  • Pedro Baez/RHP (Middle Relief)
  • Scott Alexander/LHP (Middle Relief)
  • Julio Urias/LHP (Middle Relief)
  • Josh Fields/RHP (Set-up)
  • Joe Kelly/RHP (Set-up)
  • Kenley Jansen/RHP (Closer)

As shown above, I expect Caleb Ferguson to take the role of the team’s long relieving left-hander. Ferguson has the pitching stamina needed to pitch three or four innings out of the ‘pen, should the situation be presented. However, it wouldn’t be unlikely to see Ferguson in other key situations, as Ferguson represents the small group of left-handed relief pitchers in a right-handed-dominant Dodgers bullpen.

Look to see Ferguson improve on his 2018 numbers in the coming season. Ferguson’s game could likely evolve in 2019, now that he has some MLB service time under his belt.