The Los Angeles Dodgers took a huge blow when second baseman Howie Kendrick went down with a hamstring strain and was forced to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
While the Dodgers will miss Kendrick’s defense and timely hitting at the top of the order, the team has to be able to move on and continue battling down the stretch in order to take home their third straight division title. Manager Don Mattingly had already said that Kiké Hernandez will get “first shot” at second base, but the Dodgers promoted prospect Jose Peraza to also help fill the void.
Before his MLB debut, where Peraza started at second and batted second, Mattingly talked about the newly acquired prospect. “He plays second, plays short and plays center, but he’s mostly been playing second over the last couple of years,” Mattingly said. “We’re going to try keep him as comfortable as possible. He is a guy similar to Kiké [Hernandez] that can play all over. We’ll try to put him in the best spots to have success and just go from there.”
Peraza was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the deadline deal and instantly joined the top of the Dodgers prospect lists. He has mostly played second base since joining the OKC Dodgers, but he began his career as a shortstop and has started playing center this season.
The 21-year-old went 1-for-4 in his debut with a triple and was solid defensively minus one gaffe. Mattingly evaluated his newcomer’s first game. “We got to see the whole package tonight,” the Dodgers skipper said. “Interesting though because you can’t teach that kind of speed. The ball jumped off his bat a little bit. For the first time, pretty good.”
It will be interesting to see how much playing time Peraza receives with Kendrick out, or if the Dodgers will use his speed late in games.