Dodgers Recall Juan Rivera (meh), Shawn Tolleson (yay!)

Photo from Jon SooHoo at http://dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com/2012/03/30/33012-something-current-lad-photo-gallery-vs-milwaukee-brewers-photography-by-jon-soohoolos-angeles-dodgers/

So much for waiting for the game thread, because the Dodgers have made two roster moves this afternoon, one very much foreseen, one not at all so.

As expected, Juan Rivera was activated off the disabled list this afternoon, with Scott Van Slyke sent down to Albuquerque. I have absolutely no problem with seeing Van Slyke go, because despite a great moment or two, he was clearly not ready to be in the bigs and would be best served by more regular play in the minors. As for Rivera… well, I’d like to say that I’m excited to see him back in the mix, but it’s hard to see how it’s helpful. My feelings on the “#RBImachine” narrative are well-known – he was lousy for five of six months in 2011, and he was pretty bad in the first month of 2012 – and my main worry here is that as another righty corner outfielder, he’s just going to take away at-bats that Alex Castellanos needs to be getting. My hope is that Rivera’s role is mainly that of James Loney‘s caddy against lefty pitching and occasional pinch-hitter; otherwise, I’m not sure how he helps. He’s replacing Loney in the lineup today at first base, though against a righty pitcher, which shows just how far Loney has fallen in Don Mattingly’s eyes – it’s the second time in a week this has happened.

But it’s the second, completely-out-of-nowhere move which is far more interesting. Javy Guerra has been placed on the DL right knee inflammation, and that means we’ll get our long-awaited first look at Shawn Tolleson. (Matt Guerrier was pushed to the 60-day DL to make room for Tolleson on the 40-man roster.) Guerra struggled in his most recent outing on Saturday against Colorado, allowing two hits & a walk in just 0.1 inning, but we had seen no indication that he might be injured. Tolleson, meanwhile, joins the club with an absolutely ridiculous track record, having struck out 34 against just 5 walks for Chattanooga & Albuquerque this year, and with a 178/28 K/BB across 120 minor league innings over parts of three seasons. He got off to a briefly rough start upon his promotion to ABQ, but has an amazing 15/1 K/BB in eight AAA games. Frankly, I’ve been dying to see him for some time, and the thought of him along with Kenley Jansen & Josh Lindblom in the bullpen – and yes, Guerra belongs in that group as well, when healthy, as does Scott Elbert, who has been very good – really makes you salivate at the future of the young bullpen arms in this organization.

Chris Jackson of the Examiner notes that it’s probably not likely for Tolleson to reach Philadelphia for the game tonight, noting the Isotopes are in Texas (there’s also terrible weather in the east right now), though I suppose we don’t know exactly when Tolleson received the news; it’s very possible that he found out last night and has been traveling today. Either way, this is fantastic news, especially on a day in which Clayton Kershaw – a friend and teammate of Tolleson since their Texas childhood – starts against the Phillies.

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