Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers recalled Zach McKinstry and optioned Victor Gonzalez to their alternate training site at USC ahead of the series finale with the San Diego Padres.
McKinstry joins an active MLB roster for the first time in his young career. The 25-year-old was selected in the 33rd round of the 2016 Draft and has been nothing short of impressive since the 2019 season.
Between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, McKinstry played six different positions while batting .300 with 24 doubles, 19 homers and 78 RBI, and was selected to the Texas League All-Star Game. He finished the season with Oklahoma City and hit .382 with seven homers and 26 RBI in 26 games.
McKinstry carried that success into Spring Training as a non-roster invitee and sustained his momentum during Summer Camp. His play had the Dodgers considering including McKinstry on their Opening Day roster.
“Zach has the skillset, the mindset to be a big league ballplayer right now,” Roberts said days before the season opener. “As they say, he’s an injury away. He’s right there.”
McKinstry has been with the Dodgers since the road trip began as a member of the taxi squad. It also included Gonzalez, who was recalled and made his MLB debut last week. Gonzaelz allowed one run in three innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Over seven seasons in the organization’s Minor League system, Gonzalez went 17-27 with a 4.34 ERA and 364 strikeouts in 112 games (76 starts). His best campaign came last season, when the Mexican native finished a combined 5-2 with a 2.31 ERA across three different levels.
The Dodgers added Gonzalez to their 40-man roster last October to protect against potentially losing him in the Rule 5 Draft. Like with McKinstry, the Dodgers recalling Gonzalez was a career first.
Roberts pleased with MLB roster rules
When MLB first set the 2020 schedule, they also outlined a process for active rosters to ultimately be trimmed down to 26 players.
The plan called for teams to have 30 players on their Opening Day roster for two weeks, then 28 starting Thursday before settling at 26 two weeks after that. However, MLB instead is going to permit clubs to keep 28 players on their active roster throughout the postseason and an expanded taxi squad of five.
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