We still don’t know how serious Hanley Ramirez‘ hamstring injury is, but it seems like a given that he’s headed to the disabled list, and that along with the other injury concerns means the Dodgers have some decisions to make. Eric Stephen has a good rundown of it all at TrueBlueLA, and I largely agree with him — the options are less than ideal.
As you might expect, the cries to bring up Dee Gordon have started firing up again, and at this point it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s what happens. For my part, I’ve now softened somewhat on that idea. That’s not because my opinion of him has really changed, but because the circumstances have. Ramirez is now (likely) out of the way for a while, and that means there’s once again a hole at shortstop. I still think people are simply scouting a Triple-A stat line and ignoring defense — and make no mistake, Gordon is a step down from both Justin Sellers & Luis Cruz with the glove — but I understand the impetus behind wanting a change.
So we’ll soon see what the Dodgers will do. In the meantime, what should they do? One man’s opinion.
I don’t really buy into Van Slyke’s stat line, as gaudy as .404/.483/.747 may be, because he’s still the guy who was passed over by every single team in baseball when the Dodgers DFA’d him over the winter. I mean, think about that. The Marlins could have had him for free. The Astros could have had him for free. Every team could have, and the answer was, “ahhh, not worth my time.” That says so, so much, and no one should ignore that his road OPS is more than 350 points above his ABQ stats.
If all of that sounds like I don’t have high hopes for him, that’s really true. But at least there’s some indication that he doubled down on conditioning and dropped some weight this offseason, and there’s no question that if he gets a hold of one, he can take it out of the park. No one else on the bench can say that, and with Adrian Gonzalez & Carl Crawford hurting, it’s not like 1B/LF couldn’t use a boost. I’d rather have Jerry Hairston freed up to fill in everywhere else, anyway, especially if that means he gets Cruz out of the lineup at third.
Enough already with this Ellis business. Just call it already. Federowicz has been killing the ball in ABQ and while again, I don’t see him as an offensive threat, this bench is so short handed and so limited that Don Mattingly needs all the help he can get.
3) On Monday, either disable Crawford or send down Federowicz to activate Chris Capuano.
Capuano starts on Monday so a move will need to be made to get him back, and it’ll almost certainly need to be a position player as the team is carrying only 11 pitchers right now. If Crawford isn’t ready to start by then, then it’s him. (Though I consider that doubtful since he did appear last night, thus ruining a retroactive placement.) That would mean Federowicz would be up only for the weekend, but that’s fine; even having another bat for two games is worth the plane trip.
4) Don’t even consider Yasiel Puig.
Obviously, this is what people really want, especially with Crawford hurting. But again, no. We’ve been over this. Not only is he not ready for the bigs by most indications, he angered the organization with his arrest last weekend. I cannot imagine the team rewarding that behavior so quickly, nor should they.
You’ll notice that I didn’t include a Gordon callup, and that’s because I don’t think whatever offensive boost he provides over Sellers — if there even is one, which is a huge “if” — is worth the hit he’ll bring on defense. That said, I consider Gordon’s arrival probably more likely than any of the three moves I’ve outlined here.
Things are a mess right now, and we’ll have to see some movement on the transaction front today. I just can’t see this roster making it through another game otherwise.