This is relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things, though I’m happy to be taking a break from the Andre Ethier firestorm for just a second (though do be sure to check out Tony Jackson’s latest must-read on the subject). Lost in a weekend of Ethier-mania, Matt Kemp walkoffs, and James Loney resurrections was this somewhat minor note that popped up yesterday: Dee Gordon‘s minor-league rehab stint has been extended to three games, rather than two. This is the second time his rehab has been slightly delayed, since he was originally supposed to start the rehab on Thursday and Friday in hopes of returning over the weekend. That didn’t happen, and now the earliest he’s going to be able to rejoin the team is Thursday’s makeup game in Pittsburgh, or maybe even Friday at home against Atlanta if he doesn’t make that long one-day trip to Pennsylvania.
As Jackson notes, it’s simply a “more conservative approach, nothing to be worried about”, and he’s right: alone, it’s barely even worth noting. But what it means is that not only is he not coming off the DL as soon as he was eligible (which was August 25), he won’t be back until Thursday – and Thursday is September 1, roster expansion day, meaning no corresponding move will need to be made in his place. And that means that instead of the long-welcomed DFA of Eugenio Velez (which was almost certainly going to be what would have happened, unless you really think that Justin Sellers was going down instead), Velez is going to be a Dodger for the rest of the season. Much fun as it might be to watch Velez chase down a historic mark for futility, I have a hard time enjoying it in the same way I was rooting for “most left fielders in a season” and “most players in a season”. Watching Velez flail isn’t fun; it’s just sad. He’s clearly not a big leaguer, and he doesn’t belong here. With every out he makes, it’s just more embarrassing for him and the team.
Since we’re talking about September 1, let’s put some expected names out there. Don Mattingly claims “fewer than 10″, though even that seems like a lot since (without doing any research at all) I believe the number has been between 5-7 in previous years. That being said, here’s who I think we’ll see:
As I said previously, I originally didn’t think Federowicz would come up this soon since they didn’t need to place him on the 40-man roster until after next season, but that plan changed as soon as Dioner Navarro was cut loose. (Since we now know that Navarro’s move was in the works for a while but just required Rod Barajas to be healthy first, I suppose Federowicz is who Ned Colletti was referring to when he said at least one prospect was coming up to get acclimated.) Other possibilities could be Jon Link or Dana Eveland, though neither are on the 40-man roster. I also wouldn’t completely rule out DeJesus not getting recalled, if the Dodgers prefer to see what Sellers can do at second base once Gordon returns to reclaim shortstop.