Dodgers @ Angels May 30, 2013: Three Catchers, Zero Center Fielders

angelstadiumSo after an entire day of speculating about what the Dodgers might do if they had to disable Matt Kemp, going through all of the potential options, the answer is — as you guessed it might be — Tim Federowicz. Because when your team has a million fungible utility infielders and exactly zero viable center fielders, why wouldn’t you want the luxury of a third catcher? Frankly, I’m not sure why we didn’t just predict this right off the bat.

I am of course being just a tad sarcastic here, because there’s a pretty valid reason for this — A.J. Ellis is dealing with a sore muscle in his left side. (“And that’s why you don’t DFA Ramon Hernandez,” says J. Walter Weatherman.) We’re getting a whole lot of conflicting reports about this; Dylan Hernandez says that it “could be a DL situation”, J.P. Hoornstra says the move to add a third catcher “is temporary”, while Scott Miller of CBS says they “hope to know more in a day or two.”.

Dodgers
Angels
LF
Crawford
SS
Aybar
2B
M.Ellis
CF
Trout
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Pujols
RF
Van Slyke
RF
Trumbo
3B
Hairston
2B
Kendrick
CF
Ethier
3B
Callaspo
C
Federowicz
C
Ianetta
DH
Hernandez
DH
Nelson
SS
Punto
LF
Shuck

Both Federowicz and Hernandez are in the lineup tonight, and yes, that is Andre Ethier playing center field, against a lefty no less. With Ted Lilly, a flyball pitcher, on the mound. This team really just never stops being fun.

So the real question now is… what’s next? It’s there where things keep getting more and more complicated. In addition to the uncertainty over Ellis, Ethier really can’t be more than a stopgap in center for a day or two, and so of course everyone has been clamoring for the promotion of either Joc Pederson or Yasiel Puig. Speculation of such a move only got hotter when the Double-A Lookouts were the only game in the Southern League not to have announced their lineup 30 minutes before first pitch… and then got white-hot when we saw that Puig was playing center field and Pederson was nowhere to be found.

That doesn’t mean with 100% certainty that Pederson is coming, and in fact Don Mattingly is actively saying now that he thinks that they’ll call up someone from Triple-A to man center field. If so, that’s more than likely Elian Herrera, who is on the 40-man roster but not in tonight’s Albuquerque lineup (Tony Gwynn, not on the 40-man, is in center). Then again, it would hardly be the first time Mattingly and Ned Colletti didn’t seem to be on the same page.

We’ll have to learn more about that, but Pederson sitting out tonight certainly seems like a lot more than simply a coincidence. (Unless it’s just Jody Reed, the Chattanooga manager, trolling everyone in a most remarkable fashion.) Some are already deciding that Puig is playing center for a few games so he can come replace Kemp — similar to how Scott Van Slyke was quickly pushed back to the outfield after a season of playing first base — and perhaps that’s true. But given that we heard just last week that the organization has had conversations about recalling Puig or Pederson even before Kemp’s hamstring went, it would be more than a little surprising to me if they tried to just get through the next few weeks with Herrera. (Though take note, as Bill Shaikin did, that Pederson is both slumping and having trouble against lefties.)

If Pederson really is on his way, then the next move really depends on Ellis. Moving him to the disabled list would be the easy (if depressing) option. But don’t forget as well that Hanley Ramirez will probably be activated on Monday, so there’s definitely moves to come. For those still hoping that the end of Luis Cruz‘ time is near, watch Jerry Hairston very closely tonight as he starts over Cruz and Juan Uribe at third. At the very least, at least the team probably made the right move in taking the decision to play out of Kemp’s hands.

In other minor-league news: Stephen Fife was activated from the disabled list and optioned back to Albuquerque, while in Chattanooga, third baseman C.J. Retherford was released so the team could activate Sean Burroughs. Yes, that Sean Burroughs.

Fri 10/11Sat 10/12Sun 10/13Mon 10/14Tues 10/15Wed 10/16Thurs 10/17
RR. Belisario9105
LJ.P. Howell152026
RK. Jansen51626
RC. Marmol26
RB. Wilson281411
RC. Withrow2544
RE. Volquez
1627 comments
JackedNate
JackedNate

Soo nobody likes my idea of Puig, Gwynn, and Hanley?

Lobo
Lobo

Dave, I just saw your comment on that article about Puig.  I tried to reply but I don't want to create a CBS account to do that.  So I'll post it here.


HI DAVE!

Dang88
Dang88

Is Joc Puigerson up yet?

JackedNate
JackedNate

Roster Moves Update: Cruz DFA/Puig Up; Aj DL/Gwynn Up; DFA one of Uribe, Punto/ activate Hanley

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@JackedNate I don't see a reason to put Gwynn on the 40 man. He can't hit at all and I would rather see Pederson in CF.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@Dang88(Never Stopped Loving Matt Kemp) There is not a player named Joc Puigerson in the Dodgers farm system. There is a Joc Pederson and a Yasiel Puig. Are you referring to one of them? If you are trying to make some sort of joke by mixing their names together I am going to tell their parents and they won't think it is funny. 

#drank'd

moneynow27
moneynow27

@JackedNate 

Tony Gwynn Jr. will generate about as much excitement on this team as Adam Kennedy did.

baeksu
baeksu

@Jeith Brinz @JackedNate Why does everyone assume Pederson can already hit well in the majors, too?

And putting a kid in the bigs before they're ready also has inherent risks of messing with their development and confidence.

I'd rather see Puig that Pederson, since Puig has more somewhat relevant professional experience and doesn't seem to lack in confidence whatsoever, but I also understand why the organization thinks he's immature and bringing him up right now might be a bad idea.  Who knows, maybe they're concerned about chemistry issues as well.