The Los Angeles Dodgers sent a message that violating COVID-19 protocols will not be tolerated as they suspended prospect Edwin Uceta.
Teams across the league are taking COVID-19 protocols seriously. After watching what happened with the Marlins and Cardinals, teams are not taking any chances. We saw that when the Indians suspended, and later demoted, Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger. We can now add the Los Angeles Dodgers to the list of teams that are cracking down on those who violate protocols.
On Sunday, it was announced that the Dodgers had suspended prospect Edwin Uceta after he broke the team’s safety protocols regarding COVID-19.
As it was, Uceta had started summer camp on the Dodgers’ Injured List, although the reasons for such were undisclosed. It is entirely possible that he had tested positive for the virus, which may have led to this suspension.
Uceta had not been a highly sought after prospect when he signed with the Dodgers, commanding a mere $10,000 signing bonus. His smaller frame, at 6’0″ tall and 155 pounds, caused teams to be wary. However, he has an excellent changeup, a mid 90s fastball with riding action, and has developed his curve to the point where it is a viable third option.
He had also done nothing but produce results in the minors. Over his four seasons spanning 331 innings, he has posted a solid 3.73 ERA and a 1.224 WHiP, striking out 362 batters with 105 walks. He had become a favorite of the front office with his pitchability and competitive nature, refusing to back down from any challenges.
But now, he will need to re-establish himself in the eyes of the organization. His transgressions have led to a flight back to the Dominican Republic with questions as to what the next step in the disciplinary process will be. Uceta had a perfect chance to show the Dodgers what he could do, albeit at the alternate training site, and wasted his opportunity.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have sent prospect Edwin Uceta home after he violated COVID-19 safety protocols. And he may have thrown away his best chance to impress the organization even further.