For the sake of a better argument, perhaps a more proper question would have been: “What happens if the Dodgers get healthy?” One thing’s for sure, though, with a full compliment of capable and experienced hitters in the lineup, many fans hope that they don’t see another day of Franklin Gutierrez batting second with Enrique Hernandez in the cleanup hole.
On Tuesday, we started a quick little discussion surrounding the bullpen, and we pointed out that veteran righty Brandon McCarthy may be headed for the relief corps, at least in theory. As it stands now, there are six starting pitchers on the 25-man roster. With Grant Dayton having been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Rich Hill, the bullpen has now shrunk to seven pitchers. Depending on what happens Sunday when righty starter Kenta Maeda is eligible to be reinstated, things could get even crazier. It remains to be seen whether the incoming group from the disabled list will be replaced with other ailing players, but the possibilities are becoming endless. So much so, that taking a simple guess on what the roster might look like next week is almost futile.
As far as the position players go, veteran Adrian Gonzalez is likely to be the first to return, with infielder Logan Forsythe possibly not too far behind. Candidates in positions to be optioned back to the minors could be Hernandez, Scott Van Slyke, Chris Taylor or even Cody Bellinger, unless some type of injury surfaces to make a straight swap.
As of game time on Wednesday, the body count on the disabled list is still in double digits at 11, yet with the return of Gonzo and Forsythe, that number could dip down into the single digits for the first time since mid-April. While many pundits preach the concept that having too many healthy regulars is “a good problem to have,” it definitely makes the impending roster decisions much more difficult for the club’s management crew.
Gonzalez stated on Tuesday evening that he’s prepared to play in another rehab game for Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday evening, then make some evaluations after the contest. If all feels well health-wise, it’s conceivable that Gonzo may return to the Dodgers sometime in the weekend series at home against the Marlins.
It will be at that point when the roster carousel begins to spin yet again.
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