Dodgers trade Howie Kendrick to Philadelphia Phillies.

Howie Kendrick

Howie Kendrick was the Dodgers’ primary left fielder in 2016. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Howie Kendrick was an unsung hero for much of 2016, calling left field his primary position in a season where Andre Ethier, Trayce Thompson and Scott Van Slyke missed most of the year with injuries.

Now, Kendrick is gone. The Dodgers traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf and minor league infielder Darnell Sweeney on Friday.

Kendrick, 33, batted a career-low .255 in 146 games for the Dodgers, who also played him at second base, first base and third base at times. But he saw fewer plate appearances per game in 2016 compared to any of his 11 major league seasons. Kendrick was reportedly so upset about his diminished playing time that he requested a trade.

Ruf, 30, has done most of his damage against left-handed pitchers, posting a .299/.379/.542 career slashline over parts of five major league seasons. He’s appeared in 139 games (92 starts) at first base, one game at third base, 76 games (64 starts) at left field and 29 games (27 starts) at right field.

Sweeney, 25, advanced to the Triple-A level in the Dodgers’ organization before he was traded to Philadelphia for Chase Utley in 2015. He spent all of this year with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, batting .233.

Since Sweeney wasn’t on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, the Dodgers still carry 37 men on theirs. The Dodgers also gained some financial wiggle room: Philadelphia will pick up the final year of Kendrick’s two-year contract, which pays him $10 million next season.

The Dodgers’ NLDS roster: This is not a guess.

Austin Barnes

Austin Barnes is appears much smaller than his teammates, who are standing on the pitchers’ mound during a workout at Dodger Stadium on Monday. The Dodgers held a workout at Dodger Stadium in preparation for their National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals, which begins Friday in Washington, D.C. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed the team’s roster for the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals, which begins Friday. Our first and second guesses were both wrong.

Continue reading “The Dodgers’ NLDS roster: This is not a guess.” »

Andrew Toles will be on the Dodgers’ National League Division Series roster.

SAN DIEGO — Dave Roberts said that rookie outfielder Andrew Toles will be on the Dodgers’ roster for the National League Division Series next week against the Washington Nationals.

Toles, 24, has a .311/.363/.505 slash line in his first 46 major league games. He’s gotten more frequent playing time in left field during Josh Reddick‘s hot September. Roberts spoke Thursday about the possibility of Toles platooning with Howie Kendrick in left field in the postseason:

The Nationals’ rotation is anchored by right-handers Max Scherzer and Tanner Roark; Gio Gonzalez is the only lefty expected to start a game for them in October. That ought to give Toles (and the Dodgers’ other left-handed hitters) plenty of plate appearances in the playoffs.

Game 74: Julio Urias starts, Yasiel Puig finishes the Dodgers’ sixth straight win.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig slides head-first into home plate after rounding the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals. Howie Kendrick, who scored the tying run, celebrates in the background. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

With one out in the bottom of the ninth inning and Howie Kendrick on first base, Yasiel Puig rounded the bases on a single and three-base error, walking off the Washington Nationals to complete a 4-3 win. The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.

The Kendrick experiment in left field is going well.

Adrian Gonzalez ‘feeling better,’ Dodgers don’t anticipate DL stint.

Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez shares the team lead with 20 RBIs in 39 games this season. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers dodged a bullet when Adrian Gonzalez told manager Dave Roberts he was feeling better one day after he left Monday’s game against the Angels with lower back tightness.

Gonzalez still hasn’t spoken to reporters since he left the stadium last night. He wasn’t seen in the clubhouse or on the field for pregame activities Tuesday. But Roberts said he was hopeful that Gonzalez would be able to pinch hit tonight, though he would not be available to play the field. Howie Kendrick is starting at first base instead.

Roberts said that the Dodgers aren’t considering placing Gonzalez on the disabled list at the moment and it’s possible he could play tomorrow in Anaheim.

Gonzalez, 34, is the only Dodger who’s appeared in all 39 games this season. He’s batting .282 with four home runs and 20 RBIs, tied for the team lead.