It’s that time of the year again people. Roster expansion. Time flies when you’re having fun right? Rosters are set to expand on September 1 for all 30 major league clubs. Each club has the ability to use an expanded roster of up to 40 players until the regular season ends. For the Dodgers it means reinforcements are on the way. These reinforcements could be a huge boost to a sagging offense as we head into the final month of the season.
Several Dodgers are coming back from injury as rosters expand and the club calls up some of the young players. Hyun-jin Ryu, Juan Uribe, and reliever Chris Perez are all due back within the next two days. Ryu is being activated for Sunday’s start at San Diego, and it appears Uribe and Perez will be activated on Monday as well.
Who will the Dodgers be calling up on Monday? Obviously the big name is outfielder Joc Pederson. He’s had a record setting season for the Isotopes in the Pacific Coast League. Pederson has put up a 30 hone run 30 stolen base season for Albuquerque. In 120 games Pederson is hitting .307 with 33 home runs, 79 RBI, and 30 stolen bases. He has a 1.026 OPS in the PCL, and his potent bat should be a huge boost for the Dodgers down the stretch.
We should see the return of infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena. He was sent down to Double-A Chattanooga when Hanley Ramirez was activated from his recent disabled list stint. In the limited playing time he’s seen, the Cuban shortstop has played very well for the Dodgers. He’s played solid defense, and come up with a few timely hits as well. He’s played 12 games with the Dodgers, and in 32 plate appearances he’s batting .250 (7 for 28) with 4 runs batted in.
Another guy we should see come up is infielder Alexander Guerrero. We haven’t heard much about him since he recovered from the ear biting incident with Miguel Olivo. We all know the Cuban infielder can hit. He’s batting .328 with 14 home runs for Albuquerque. The only question has been would his defense be up to par? I guess we’ll find out soon enough. However I think we will probably see Guerrero used mostly as a pinch-hitter late inning guy.
Another question is will we see Zach Lee? I think that’s unlikely. Lee has already pitched 144.2 innings and struggled this year for the Isotopes. He’s posted a 7-12 record and a 5.54 ERA in 26 starts. The hitter friendly environment has not helped Lee find his adjustments His strikeout rates have gone down from 8.3 per nine in Chattanooga in 2013, to just 5.8 this year with the Isotopes. His walk rate and hits per nine rates have all gone up as well. It would make sense for the Dodgers to shut him down for the rest of the year.
One guy we probably will see is right hander Red Patterson. Remember he started a game in a double-header back in Minnesota in May. We may also finally see the return of long lost left handed reliever Scott Elbert. He’s been rehabbing in Albuquerque. He’s pitched in 18 games, and thrown 14.2 innings, while posting a 4.91 ERA, and a 9.2 whiff per nine rate. Elbert hasn’t pitched at the big league level since 2012. He’s been out since then battling numerous elbow surgeries. With the Dodgers down to just one left hander in the bullpen, they could really use a guy like Elbert. If he is healthy.
The club has decided that they will not be calling up top prospects Corey Seager, or pitcher Julio Urias. So don’t expect to see those guys up with the club in September. Their time will come soon enough though.
Every club has the choice to call up as many players as they want. A club could call up nobody if they so choose, or the club could max out to 40 active players. Each club will carry a different amount of players as not all clubs choose to max their rosters out to 40.
For the Dodgers it means the Calvary is on the way. The Dodgers have seen their lead in the NL West shrink to just 2.5 games because of mediocre play. The Dodgers have struggled to win games because of their lackluster offense that continues to stink. The club struggles to score any runs at all in the late innings due to their stagnation and mental blocks.
Hopefully, the youthful hitters should invigorate the stale Dodger offense. These youthful bats couldn’t come soon enough for everybody. Hang in there guys, help is on the way.