The Dodgers have made a few final roster decisions in advance of their opening contest, as reflected on their transactions page (h/t Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, on Twitter). Speedy outfielder Terrance Gore has been selected to the 40-man roster, while young righty Dustin May was optioned to the team’s alternative training site.
It’s easy to see the merits of carrying a speed demon like Gore with expanded rosters early in the season. The 29-year-old has never hit much at any level, but he’s among the fastest players in recent MLB memory. Gore’s pinch-running prowess was on full display with the 2014-15 Royals World Series clubs, and he’ll give the Dodgers some additional range in the outfield should they wish to use him in that capacity as well. Gore seems like the type of player who may eventually be set to alternate camp when the roster is trimmed to 28 and eventually 26 players, but he’ll give the club a unique weapon off the bench early in the year.
As for May, he’ll head to alternate camp to continue getting some work in while the Dodgers rely on a more experienced starting staff that features Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Alex Wood, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias. There are some obvious potential service time benefits to sending May down to begin the year, but given that he already accrued more than a third of a season of service last year, that might not be the sole motivation. He’d need to spend several weeks in the minors to fall shy of a full year and extend the club’s control over him.
May, 22, is considered one of the game’s premier prospects and turned in a 3.63 ERA with a 32-to-5 K/BB ratio in 34 2/3 frames as a rookie in 2019. He maintains that rookie status into 2020.