Two thoughts on the Dodgers’ 2015 roster.

It’s going to take more than one story or one blog entry to grasp the full scope of what’s happened to the Dodgers roster since the end of the season. I wrote this today. It’s a start. Mostly, it’s a look ahead to what the 2015 Dodgers could look like. What changes could happen between now and then?

Two thoughts.

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On Corey Seager and the Dodgers’ pursuit of a shortstop.

Corey Seager

Corey Seager is expected to be in the Dodgers’ major-league camp when spring training begins. (Staff photo)


SAN DIEGO — I touched on the Dodgers’ pursuit of a shortstop in today’s Winter Meetings notebook, but general manager Farhan Zaidi offered more to say than I had room in print.

So, about Hanley Ramirez’s replacement …
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Reports: Hanley Ramirez will sign with Boston Red Sox.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez batted .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs in 2014. (Getty Images)

Hanley Ramirez was not expected to return to Los Angeles in 2015. Andrew Friedman’s decision to let him sign elsewhere was going to save the Dodgers a lot of money wherever Ramirez signed, but it was not terribly difficult. The Dodgers had good reason not to give Ramirez a multi-year contract, and Ramirez did not reject the Dodgers’ qualifying offer only to sign a one-year deal somewhere else.

The Boston Red Sox had several reasons to take an interest in Ramirez. They have a designated hitter, David Ortiz, who turned 39 on Tuesday and can become a free agent after the 2015 season. They have their shortstop of the future, Xander Bogaerts, already in place. They have a glaring need for offense at third base (Boston third basemen had a .580 OPS last season, 14th in the American League).

They also draft seventh in next year’s entry draft. Only the teams that draft 1-10 are able to sign a player who rejected a qualifying offer and keep their pick, so the Red Sox had more incentive than some teams to make a big pitch.

Soon, it appears, they will have Ramirez under contract for next season and beyond:


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Report: Dodgers haven’t ruled out re-signing Hanley Ramirez.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez batted .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs in 2014. (Getty Images)

The Dodgers have not ruled out re-signing Hanley Ramirez, according to SBNation.com. Ramirez rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer Nov. 10 and is currently a free agent.

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Why Erisbel Arruebarrena — who can’t swing — didn’t pinch run for A.J. Ellis earlier.

Erisbel Arruebarrena

Erisbel Arruebarrena was limited to pinch-running duties Wednesday because of a shoulder injury. (Getty Images)

In the 10th inning, when A.J. Ellis drew a one-out walk in a tie game, many of you chimed in on social media wondering why Don Mattingly didn’t pinch run for the slow-footed catcher.

Mattingly did use a pinch runner eventually, when the bases were loaded with one out. Erisbel Arruebarrena took Ellis’ place at third base, and barely had to move as Adrian Gonzalez and Juan Uribe struck out.
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First wave of Dodgers call-ups arrive, sans Carlos Triunfel (designated for assignment).

Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero hit four home runs in his final 10 games with Triple-A Albuquerque. (Associated Press photo)

Of all the transactions the Dodgers made Monday, when rosters were allowed to expand past the previous 25-man limit, only one could be considered a surprise.

Infielder Carlos Triunfel, whom the Dodgers claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners in April, was designated for assignment.

By removing Triunfel from the 40-man roster, the Dodgers were able to add Joc Pederson to their 40-man roster. Pederson was joined by infielder Alex Guerrero, catcher Tim Federowicz and pitcher Yimi Garcia on the Albuquerque-to-Los Angeles express Monday. Infielders Miguel Rojas and Erisbel Arruebarrena and pitcher Carlos Frias are expected to arrive in the Dodgers’ clubhouse tomorrow.

Pederson and Garcia will be making their major-league debuts.

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Dodgers’ September call-ups: A look to the not-too-distant future. Update.

Joc Pederson

Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson has a .307/.438/.589 slash line for Triple-A Albuquerque this season, and has stolen 30 bases in 43 attempts. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Before Saturday’s game, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly provided the closest thing to a clue about who will be called up from the minor leagues on Monday, when teams are allowed to carry every player on their 40-man roster to every game for the remainder of the season.

(As an aside, the Dodgers play a September series in Chicago against the Cubs. Wrigley Field’s visiting clubhouse is the smallest in the major leagues. This could become baseball’s equivalent of a clown car and I can’t wait to find out how it’ll look.)

Mattingly didn’t name names, but said “I think it’s maybe five or six (players),” noting that injuries could affect the number.

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Hanley Ramirez returns, Dodgers option Erisbel Arruebarrena to Rancho Cucamonga.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez spent the minimum time on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle. (Getty Images)

Hanley Ramirez was in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Sunday for the first time since he strained a right oblique muscle August 8 in Milwaukee. Ramirez was batting fourth then, and has batted either second, third or fourth every time he’s been in the lineup this year.

Why is he batting fifth today?

“I wanted to let Hanley get back into the flow,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s been a little bit of time. He doesn’t really have a history with (New York Mets starter Bartolo) Colon. Matt’s got a little history.”

Dee Gordon is leading off, Yasiel Puig is batting second, Adrian Gonzalez is third and Matt Kemp fourth — the same order Mattingly has used in 10 of the 13 games since Ramirez was placed on the disabled list.

“We’re not really going to try to be that cautious,” Mattingly said. “We’re going to play him. We’re not going to run him into the ground. If he’s not feeling good we’re going to give him a break. With the days off coming, just kind of play it by ear. Play one, got one off. Play two, got another one off. Then we’ve got six in a row. Unless we’ve got something going on, he should be fairly rested.”
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Erisbel Arruebarrena gives Dodgers a blank slate at the plate.

The Dodgers recalled Erisbel Arruebarrena from the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers, where he had been rehabbing. Evidently, the rookie shortstop’s sore shoulder was the only reason he wasn’t recalled sooner. Carlos Triunfel, who got the call-up Saturday when Juan Uribe was placed on the 15-day disabled list, was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Arruebarrena has played some second base and third base this season for Triple-A Albuquerque. His job with the Dodgers will be at shortstop, where he saw action in eight games in May and June, making no errors and batting .313 (5 for 16).
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After brawl, Erisbel Arruebarrena assigned to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Erisbel Arruebarrena‘s rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque came to a violent end Saturday night, when the 24-year-old infielder incited a massive brawl in the Isotopes’ game against the Reno Aces.

Sunday, the Dodgers activated Arruebarrena from the 15-day disabled list and re-assigned him to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. The timing of the move, one day after the brawl, suggests this is more than a coincidence.

Arruebarrena had not been performing badly at Albuquerque. He hit his first Triple-A home run Saturday — his slow home run trot might have provoked Reno to begin with — and was batting .351/.410/.486. Albuquerque is playing Reno again tonight and Monday.

A source with knowledge of the situation said there is no precedent for a player on a major-league rehabilitation assignment being suspended by the Pacific Coast League. Nonetheless, the league is reviewing the incident and is expected to discipline Arruebarrena. It’s unclear whether or not he would be required to serve his suspension while playing in a different league.