The Dodgers wrapped up the National League West this week, so they can sort of relax in a sense. The only real benefit to finishing up with the best record in the league is for boasting purposes, given that seeding doesn’t particularly matter for the moment.
With that in mind, it’s sort of surprising that the Dodgers are still throwing their normal lineups out there. Getting reps is important down the stretch, but keeping players fresh for the playoffs is arguably more important. President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman seems to support that, and it sounds like the team might start resting the bigger pieces.
Obviously, any time you play you want to win. It’s not something that we’re gonna take our foot off of the pedal. But I do think we’re going to really think through each of our players, our pitchers, our position players and think about what puts them in the best position going in to win today. So it might be a little different from guy to guy but that’s our mindset is to do it. Fortunately, we have depth, so even if we give someone a [rest], it’s another opportunity for someone to step up and make a claim for a playoff spot.
Wednesday’s loss to the A’s certainly wouldn’t suggest that the Dodgers are looking to rest guys just yet. The only regular who got a break was Justin Turner, who was removed in the top of the 6th. Turner is nursing a hamstring, so his removal after 3 at-bats was according to plan for Dave Roberts.
Other than that, the main cast was used for the whole game. Julio Urias pitched 6 innings in what will be his final postseason audition. The Dodgers also used the basic bullpen pieces in Joe Kelly, Brusdar Graterol, and Blake Treinen. We’ll have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of days in terms of roster configuration, but expect more of an emphasis on health and rest for the regulars when Anaheim is in town.
The postseason starts on September 30th.
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