All those players could be off the market by tomorrow if they accept the qualifying offer.
If they don’t, and certainly not all will, the Dodgers and 28 other teams are faced with a choice: Sign the player as a free agent, or sacrifice a 2014 first-round draft pick. For a team like the Dodgers, who have a handful of high-level prospects but not many more tradeable assets in their farm system, that’s a difficult and expensive signing to justify. Cano is arguably the only elite player on that list and the Dodgers aren’t expected to make a run at him.
The others — some of whom made my short list of players to watch — just made themselves a little less attractive to the Dodgers.
As expected, the Dodgers selected the contract of Scott Van Slyke and added him to their major league roster Friday. Elian Herrera was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and Chad Billingsley was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room for Van Slyke.
Van Slyke was hitting .397/.503/.733 for Albuquerque, with a team-leading nine home runs and 30 RBIs.
“He’s got a chance to hit a ball in the seats,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Mattingly said he wanted a right-handed bat in the outfield and an additional jolt of power. The Dodgers have hit 23 home runs as a team, the second-fewest total in the National League, and Herrera relies as much on the bunt as the line drive to get on base.
Herrera started in left field Wednesday and got one hit in three at-bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ethier hasn’t been given a day off by the manager (not the schedule) since April 7, Crawford since getting back to back days off on April 30 and May 1. That’s weighed on Mattingly lately, though he acknowledged that the injuries to Jerry Hairston Jr. and Mark Ellis last week left him little choice until both players ultimately went on the 15-day disabled list.
“We’ve had a lot of guys hurt and it’s like we just keep throwing everybody else out there,” Mattingly said. “We want to have that option on the left-hander, to give Carl or Dre a day off.”
The Dodgers will see a left-hander, Wade Miley, tomorrow in the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers placed Jerry Hairston Jr. on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin Tuesday as expected and recalled utilityman Elian Herrera from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Herrera was hitting .250/.310/.336 for the Isotopes. He had at least one hit in his last seven starts, and is batting .306 (11 for 36) with two home runs in his last eight games. He batted .294/.333/.353 in spring training with the Dodgers with three extra-base hits, all doubles, in 51 at-bats.
First it was the pitchers. Now the Dodger position players’ health is unraveling like a spool of thread with Mark Ellis‘ quadricep, Hanley Ramirez‘s hamstring and Jerry Hairston Jr.’s groin all giving out within a 10-day span.
Hairston could join Ellis and Ramirez on the disabled list soon if he isn’t able to play the outfield. Among the Dodgers’ reserves, only Skip Schumaker is a natural outfielder (infielders Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers have made cameos there during spring training). Manager Don Mattingly had a clear criterion for Hairston to avoid the disabled list.
“Either he can play the outfield or he can’t go at all,” Mattingly said. “Jerry’s going to need to be able to play the outfield for us to not have to make a move.” Continue reading →
There are no ties in baseball. Except when it’s spring training.
Neither the Dodgers (0-1-1) or White Sox (1-0-1) were content to let the exhibition season end without needing three numbers to describe their record. Either that or Robin Ventura, the home manager, elected not to play after exactly three hours of baseball at Camelback Ranch on Sunday.
Dodgers relieverPeter Moylan surrendered a 2-run home run to White Sox slugger Adam Dunn in his first Cactus League inning. The Dodgers scored when Tim Federowicz doubled and Hanley Ramirez drove him home with a single in the third, and again on Luis Cruz‘s solo home run to left field in the sixth.
There’s immense potential among this group, but questionable depth beyond the three starters – and an immediate need for depth. Remember when Shane Victorino and Torii Hunter were being mentioned as potential fourth outfielders? It’s because the need existed: Carl Crawford had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow and arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist in 2012, Matt Kemp had surgery to repair his left shoulder last October, and Andre Ethier can’t hit left-handed pitching. More on that in a bit.
In lieu of any big-name acquisitions, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Skip Schumaker — utility infielders who make occasional cameos in the outfield – might begin the season as the fourth and fifth outfielders. Crawford might well begin the season on the disabled list. With so many question marks, there will be plenty of focus on this group in the spring, beginning with the heart and soul of the Dodger lineup.
Turns out that Robinson, who was born 94 years ago yesterday, inspires the tech sector, too.
“By celebrating Jackie today, we’re hoping to spread his message of respecting each other as a human beings,” Mike Dutton, the artist who created the image, told Charles in an email Thursday. “Nobody else has changed the game quite as significantly — and with the same kind of poise and dignity in the face of adversity, no less — as Jackie Robinson.”