Dodgers utilityman Doug Mientkiewicz suffered a dislocated right shoulder diving into second base on a two-run pinch-hit double Thursday night and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
That’s a shame, because I actually like Eyechart, who seems like a good guy all around. But as I’ve said several times, I’ve felt he’s not the best fit for this team – we don’t really need a slick-fielding lefty-swinging backup first baseman as much as other teams might. So I can’t say I’m totally crushed by his loss, from a roster composition standpoint. But who takes his roster spot?
Candidates to replace Mientkiewicz are Blake DeWitt, who was sent to Triple-A Albuquerque Monday, and rookie Xavier Paul, who is batting .571 at Albuquerque. A decision will be made Friday.
Both DeWitt and Paul bat left-handed, as does Mientkiewicz. Delwyn Young would have been the likely replacement, but he was traded Monday night to the Pittsburgh Pirates for two players to be named.
I’m mostly kidding, because obviously no one knew Eyechart was getting hurt ten minutes later, but this really illustrates my whole point from the other day: having to lose a player just so you can shoehorn mediocre veterans like Eyechart and Juan Castro on the roster is never a good idea. I just didn’t think it would come to be proven so quickly.
As for who comes up, it has to be Paul. Not only is he killing the ball in AAA, but he fits the roster needs better. If they thought DeWitt wasn’t getting enough playing time as the main infield backup, he’s surely not going to be doing so with Castro still around as the main backup shortstop. Besides, Eyechart was (in theory) the 5th outfielder, so unless we’re really putting Casey Blake out there, another outfielder is needed. And as Paul is a good defender with a strong arm, maybe we can finally stop seeing Juan Pierre as a defensive replacement!