Josh Sborz Observes A Lot By Watching
The Dodgers had plenty of reasons to make righthander Josh Sborz their second-round pick in 2015.
Sborz had excelled at College World Series that year, notching three wins and a save for as part of 13 scoreless relief innings for champion Virginia.
Sborz had bloodlines. His older brother Jay Sborz reached the majors with the Tigers in 2010.
The Dodgers made Josh Sborz a big leaguer, too, when they called him up in mid-April, but he returned to Triple-A Oklahoma City before making an appearance.
Still, Sborz called the moment "surreal" when he got the news. He had just finished throwing a bullpen session when Oklahoma City manager Travis Barbary told him he had been promoted.
"He just took me off when I was walking away from my bullpen and said, 'Hey, pack your stuff. You're going to LA and you leave in two hours,' " Sborz said.
Sborz called being a big leaguer "an honor."
"Most kids strive to do this their entire lives," he said. "Just to get the opportunity to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers is an honor.
"I think right when I was drafted I knew there was a chance. When you get drafted to play professional baseball, you know there's a chance. You have an opportunity. They see you have talents. I just kept working hard and working hard."
Before his callup, Sborz was off to a good start in the Pacific Coast League, having struck out 11 in five scoreless innings. His growth as a pitcher has been steady, he said.
"Just watching other guys pitch. That's the biggest thing," he said. "You think you have it all until you watch some of these other really good pitchers and you see what they have. You have to learn from them.
"And it's more about being able to command the strike zone instead of trying to be dominant throwing nasty stuff. It's about throwing strikes."
— The Dodgers signed lefthander Chris Nunn to a minor league contract. The 28-year-old was released by the Rangers this spring but is more known for his videos on social media. Working with a performance and promotional service called Flatground, Nunn showcased a 100 mph fastball. He made it as far as Triple-A in the Astros' system last year.
— When Russell Martin went on the injured list with lower back inflammation, the Dodgers chose to call up veteran Rocky Gale from Triple-A rather than top catching prospect Will Smith because they wanted Smith to continue getting steady playing time at Oklahoma City. Smith got off to a good start there and was batting .308/.439/.596 with three home runs in his first 15 games.