There are still 11 more exhibition games to play, but after the most recent round of roster shuffling and conversations with Dodgers personnel, a greater clarity now exists for the Albuquerque Isotopes' roster composition.
Plenty of moves are still to be made, but here is how things look for the Isotopes as of March 19.
Dodgers director of player development De Jon Watson said the only "lock" for the Isotopes' starting staff is right-hander Matt Magill. The No. 9-ranked Dodgers prospect, according to Baseball America, Magill was reportedly hitting 95 mph on the radar gun this spring. He has already been optioned to the Isotopes.
Another probable starter is the lone returnee from last year's season-ending rotation, right-hander Stephen Fife. He has thrown well this spring, though, so he still has an outside shot at a long relief spot.
"It's been fun, it's been good. I've been enjoying it, learning from these guys over here, seeing if I can make an impact," Fife said.
Fife said he has been working on two pitches in particular this spring.
"I'm trying to incorporate more two-seam fastballs," he said. "Last year I kind of started off with a lot of two-seams, then I went to a lot of four-seams and I'm trying to get back to a more 60-40 split on the four-seam to the two-seam. I'm trying to get the slider going right now. I've been curveball-changeup so far."
Left-hander Michael Antonini struggled through 13 starts and 17 relief appearances with Albuquerque last season, finishing 2-7 with a 5.71 ERA, but he is back to being a starter this spring. Antonini threw two innings in a minor-league game Tuesday against the Reds, allowing a double to Josh Fellhauer in the first and a solo home run to Kris Negron in the second.
Right-hander Mario Santiago, who pitched brilliantly for Puerto Rico against Japan in a World Baseball Classic semifinal on Sunday, and lefty Fabio Castro are also in the running for rotation spots.
Three relievers on the 40-man roster have already been optioned to Albuquerque in right-handers Steven Ames, Javy Guerra and Shawn Tolleson. Ames spent last year at Double-A, racking up 18 saves, while Guerra was in the Majors most of last season and Tolleson bounced around.
More bullpen cuts are coming, and there are likely a few of the non-roster invitees who will opt out of their contracts, so in many ways this part of the team is still the most in flux.
"It's still pretty cloudy, honestly," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of his bullpen, which directly impacts the Isotopes' relief corps. "With (Tolleson), he didn't do anything wrong. I just think the numbers were creeping up on him. He's actually been throwing the ball better lately, but we still feel like he's got some things to keep working on (like) his fastball command. He's got more weapons that he was able to show last year.
"We wanted him to be able to keep continuing to work. Honestly, over here right now, we're out of innings. This way he stays on regular work, he keeps progressing."
Tim Federowicz, last year's starter, will not be back, as the Dodgers handed him their backup job earlier Tuesday. With Ramon Castro having been cut and Eliezer Alfonzo never reporting to camp, that leaves two veterans and one Double-A player vying for jobs.
Jesus Flores and Wilkin Castillo were reassigned to minor-league camp in the last two days. Defensive specialist Matt Wallach will compete with them for playing time.