September is an interesting time in Major League Baseball, as active rosters expand from 25 to 40, bringing some much needed reinforcements to every major league baseball team. In addition to reinforcements from the minors, the Dodgers will also have a few players coming back from the 60-day DL. The anticipation of the postseason and seeing who could potentially contribute should make for an interesting trail into October, so lets take a look at the potential call ups and see how they might fit into the postseason puzzle.
First and foremost, lets clarify how postseason roster eligibility works. To be eligible for the postseason roster, a player must be a part of the organization as of midnight ET on August 31st. That’s it, so long as that player has not been suspended for performance enhancing drugs at anytime during Spring Training or during the season. They don’t have to be on the 25-man roster, or the even the 40-man roster. Now that we got that out of the way, lets talk about our call ups!
Eligible September 1st, But Probably Don’t Come Until OKC’s Playoff Run Ends
- Austin Barnes
- Micah Johnson
- Chris Taylor
- Yasiel Puig
For the second consecutive year, OKC has clinched their division and will be advancing to the AAA playoffs. The Dodgers won’t want to leave their minor league squad barren, so Barnes, Taylor, Johnson and Puig, which sounds like some sort of law firm, could stay down for a short while after the 1st. Should OKC’s run end early, expect to see the quartet on the big league squad as early as 9/9.
Much has been said about Puig’s situation. In my personal opinion, they can do very little harm in calling him up for 3 weeks. It would be a good opportunity to highlight some potential trade value, or rebuild some lost equity within the team if he inevitably remains a Dodger. And it’s hard to argue that Puig in the lineup doesn’t make the Dodgers better against left handed pitching. Though much has been said about it, I think it inevitably becomes much ado about nothing and we see Puig once OKC wraps its season.
Date Dependents (eligibility date)
- Josh Fields (9/2)
- Luis Avilan (9/4)
- Brett Anderson (9/5)
- Brock Stewart (9/6 if Tulsa misses playoffs, 9/8 if they make it)
- Pedro Baez (9/6 with same stipulations as Brock)
- Hyun-jin Ryu (9/6)
- Scott Kazmir (9/7)
- Trayce Thompson (9/9)
Josh Fields and Luis Avilan will help take some innings off of the more competent relievers, ideally saving them for the stretch run. Brett Anderson is on the 15-day DL and threw a bullpen on Tuesday, August 30th. His return is conditional upon health. Brock Stewart and Pedro Baez were sent to Tulsa in a fun roster move that allows the front office to possibly circumvent the 10-day minor league option rule. If Tulsa makes the playoffs, they will have to wait the full 10 days. If not, they could return as soon as Tulsa’s season ends on 9/6.
Hyun-jin Ryu is also eligible the same day, with his health being conditional. Scott Kazmir could return a day later with Trayce only two days behind him, health depending. Kazmir and Anderson could be activated with no harm, no foul, as they are both on the 15-day DL. Ryu and Thompson will require requisite 40-man moves, as they are coming off of the 60-day DL. However, Trayce hasn’t yet been cleared for baseball activities and Ryu has barely begun to throw. The likelier scenario is they both remain on the 60-day DL and finish out the year on the mend.
Can Come Back Whenever They’re Healthy
- Andre Ethier
- Clayton Kershaw
- Alex Wood
- Louis Coleman
- Brandon McCarthy
- Josh Ravin
All 6 players have served their required time on the DL and they can be activated as soon as they are healthy. In the case of the first three, a requisite 40-day move will be required. The roster currently stands at 39, so that last spot likely goes to Clayton Kershaw. When Andre Ethier comes back, the Dodgers could designate Charlie Culberson or Chris Taylor for assignment, or place one of the Anderson/McCarthy duo on the 60-day DL if they are deemed unfit for performance.
If you are desperately searching for some good #Dodgers news, look no further:
Andre Ethier is done. 2-4, w/ 1B, 2B, & 2 K #HEALTHY
— RC Quakes Baseball (@RCQuakes) August 26, 2016
If the front office wanted to get creative, they could shut down Julio Urias and/or Ross Stripling by placing them on the 60-day DL, as both are rapidly approaching their innings limit. Coleman, Ravin and McCarthy are all on rehab, so they could return as early as Thursday.
I’d Love to See Them But it Makes Sense to Leave Them
- Jose De Leon
- Cody Bellinger
- Jack Murphy
Let’s face it. We’ve been clamoring for Jose De Leon for weeks, as we watch pitcher after pitcher seemingly throw 8 pitches and then sprain their entire body. But the smart move may be to leave him off and for a few reasons. The first and most glaring is the 40-man roster crunch. Unless the front office views Anderson as a sunk cost and simply cuts their losses, there is no real way to fit him on.
The second reason is based on starting his service time clock. The Dodgers have started a lot of rookie service time clocks this year, and the time will come to roost when all of these players begin to increase in cost. By keeping Jose down, the Dodgers are offsetting his potential cost increases, baring he becomes the impact player we hope.
Both of these same reasons apply to Cody Bellinger, who has done nothing but mash baseballs but also isn’t likely to jump two levels just to ride the pine and is still quite young and in need of a little extra seasoning. Jack Murphy just has a rad moustache, but there is no reason to carry 4 catchers.
The potential playoff roster is where things get fun, baring that they make it to begin with. This is a prediction, and we all know that predictions are always wrong, but this is the way I’d like to see the post-season roster shake down.
Position Players: Pitchers:
Yasmani Grandal Clayton Kerhaw (SP1)
Carlos Ruiz Rich Hill (SP2)
Adrian Gonzalez Kenta Maeda (SP3)
Chase Utley Joe Blanton
Corey Seager Adam Liberatore
Justin Turner Grant Dayton
Kiké Hernandez Jesse Chavez
Howie Kendrick Scott Kazmir
Joc Pederson Kenley Jansen
Josh Reddick J.P Howell
Rob Segedin Pedro Baez
I’d be really excited to see Alex Wood in the bullpen because I think his stuff plays up, but I don’t think he has enough time to make the cut. Since you generally only need a 3-man rotation, I’d move Kazmir to the bullpen and run with my 3 best. That makes 14 position players and 11 pitchers. A lot can happen between now and then, but the Dodgers enviable depth will really help them stay fresh in September.