The Dodgers recalled left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez from AAA-Albuquerque on Tuesday while optioning infielder Carlos Triunfel back down to Albuquerque. Paco had been sent down in order to make room for Brian Wilson back on April 16th who was activated from the disabled list at that time. Triunfel, who never appeared in a game for the Dodgers during his short stint with the team, was brought up in order to back up shortstop after Hanley Ramirez injured his thumb.
The Dodgers once again have 13 pitchers on their 25-man active roster and two left-handed pitchers available out of the bullpen with Paco Rodriguez and J.P. Howell. After the Dodgers were snowed out on Tuesday, they need the extra arm in preparation for the doubleheader now scheduled for Thursday.
Before being demoted to AAA, Paco pitched in 8 games for the Dodgers this season. He has a 3.18 ERA with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks in 5 2/3 innings of work so far. The 23-year old appeared in 3 games for the Isotopes and did not allow a run in 3 innings.
The Dodgers will be using a designated hitter during the series with Minnesota, so the need for an extra arm out of the bullpen makes sense over an extra man off the bench. They will also be able to add a 26th player to the roster for the doubleheader, a corresponding move to reactivate Clayton Kershaw when he is ready, and possibly an extra starter for this weekend’s series in Miami, so expect several moves to be made before then.
I was upset to see Paco sent down to AAA two weeks ago, but I’m glad that he has rejoined the team and can add versatility being the second left-handed option out of the Dodgers bullpen. I’ve never been a fan of having just one southpaw out of the pen, and we have gone down that road several times over the years with the Dodgers… Hong-Chih Kuo, anyone?
Even though Paco faded out toward the end of the season last year, he was an integral part of the Dodgers bullpen throughout most of the year. His experience as a closer for the University of Florida has made him valuable as a high leverage weapon out of the relief corps as well as a LOOGY. With a struggling Brian Wilson, Don Mattingly can use all the options he can get.