The Dodgers got creative with their lineup on Sunday. With right fielder Mookie Betts hitting the Injured List with a cracked rib, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts inserted Eddy Alvarez in at right field. The gamble on Alvarez, a career infielder, did not payoff.
In the second inning, Alvarez attempted to make a two-handed catch on a routine fly ball. The ball popped out of his glove and the error eventually led to Cleveland’s first run in their 5-3 victory on Sunday.
In the top of the ninth with the game tied 3-3, Alvarez was unable to get to a difficult ball hit down the line by Cleveland’s Josh Naylor, resulting in runners on second and third with one out. Both runners would score.
After the game, Alvarez quipped “this one was definitely on me” and admitted that manning right field during a day game at Dodger Stadium is quite the challenge (quotes via OCR’s Bill Plunkett).
“I do hold myself accountable for a lot of the runs scored today. I hold myself to a high standard, and I didn’t realize how tough it was to read the ball off the bat in the daytime. Just the way the sun hits … the chairs.”
The speedy Alvarez noted how he should have gotten to Naylor’s hit in the ninth.
“I had to play the hook a little bit more off Naylor’s bat. I thought I had a good read on it, had a good line. … Should’ve made that play.”
Alvarez wasn’t the only one playing the blame game after the tough loss. Roberts threw his hat into the ring as well.
“I wanted Eddy to get some at-bats and CT hasn’t played a whole lot of right field, either. I made that decision. He’s doing the best he can. I’m sure he said it was on him, but if it’s on anybody, it’ll be on me for sure.”
It appears that the Alvarez-outfield experiment will be short lived. Zach McKinstry was recalled from the OKC Dodgers and it appears the Dodgers are close to a deal to acquire outfielder Trayce Thompson from the Detroit Tigers.
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