In a period where absolutely nothing is going right on the field for the Dodgers, one area where they’re actually getting some good news is on the injury front. Andre Ethier somehow might avoid the disabled list, Mark Ellis is far ahead of schedule, and Matt Kemp isn’t much behind him. If all goes well, it’s possible we could see all three in the lineup together in two weeks, right after the All-Star Game.
As the roster returns to health, that could present the Dodgers with some interesting roster choices. For Ellis, the calculus seems simple; if Ethier is healthy, Scott Van Slyke goes down. If he’s not, his move to the DL creates your roster spot.
It gets immediately more complicated for Kemp’s return. You could argue that Elian Herrera goes down, since he’s struggled terribly since his hot start and his ability to play center would no longer be as relevant. That’s possible, but I find his ability to play solid defense all over the field valuable. With Ellis likely back and holding down second base by then, and Herrera & Jerry Hairston on the bench, it does tempt me to dream about the unthinkable: might this be when we finally see the end of the utterly useless Adam Kennedy?
There’s also the case of Carlos Lee to consider, should he decide to accept a trade which most of us won’t like. (And we’ll like it even less if reports of the Dodgers eating most of the money and sending a decent prospect in Garrett Gould are true; that would be absurd.)
Assuming any Lee deal wouldn’t require a member of the active roster – and no, just because James Loney happens to be from Houston doesn’t mean it makes sense for the Astros to take on an overpaid, underperforming first baseman who will be a free agent after the year – a spot would need to be made for him as well. It’s fun to think about DFAing Loney, but it also doesn’t make sense, since Lee is a poor defender who has already missed time this year. Loney would be needed.
If not Loney… could we dare to dream about the end of the Juan Uribe era? Even on a team full of struggling bats, he stands out as among the most embarrassing, with little hope of improvement; at this point, barring more injuries, I don’t believe he’s making it to the end of the season anyhow. While they’d still need an upgrade at third, Hairston & Herrera could hold the position down until a trade was made.
It’s wishful thinking, for sure, and perhaps fueled more than a little by a lack of sleep while traveling. Yet as I like the proposed Lee deal less the more I think about it, we can at least hope that possible move plus healthy returns by others leads to a silver lining at the bottom of the roster.