The Dodgers have announced a bizarre roster move today during their travel day before they play the Cardinals in game 6 of the NLCS on Friday night at Busch Stadium. The Dodgers announced they have DFA’d outfielder Alex Castellanos, and claimed Outfielder Mike Baxter from the Mets to take Castellanos’s 40-man roster spot.
#Dodgers today claimed outfielder Mike Baxter from the New York Mets and designated outfielder Alex Castellanos for assignment.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 17, 2013
This is so strange, but I have a feeling why the Dodgers did this. Castellanos the 27 year old outfielder played in just eight games for the Dodgers in 2013, batting .167 (3 for 18) with a home run in 18 plate appearances. Castellanos spent most of the 2013 season with the Dodger’s triple-A affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes.
Castellanos played in 103 games for the Isotopes this season, posting a batting line of .257/.347/.468 with 19 home runs, 61 runs driven in, and 19 stolen bases in 439 plate appearances. Castellanos mostly played the corner outfield positions, but also saw some time at second base as well. Castellanos was drafted by the Cardinals in 2010, and traded to the Dodgers for Rafael Furcal in 2011. Castellanos is a career .288 hitter in the minor leagues with 88 home runs. As a major leaguer he has a career .171 batting average with two major league home runs in 24 MLB games.
In order to replace Castellanos on the roster, the Dodgers have acquired the 28 year old Baxter off of waivers from the Mets. Baxter is a left handed hitting outfielder and pinch-hitter. Baxter hit .189 (25 for 132) in 155 plate appearances in 2013 for the Mets. Baxter was drafted by the Padres in 2005, and made his MLB debut in 2010. I’m sorry to say but Baxter screams minor league fodder. They might as well place a name tag on his back that reads “Destined to be in the minor leagues forever” Him and Drew Butera, and Nick Buss should form a club.
If I had to guess why the Dodgers made this move I would probably think it was because Castellanos is blocked at every outfield position. The Dodgers don’t have room for him at the major league level. Although with all the injuries to the Dodger outfield you would think the Dodgers may need him. But the club was never going to give him a chance. It’s a shame. I think the Dodgers let one get away on this one.