Kyle Farmer Could Get NLDS Roster Nod Over Adrián González, Theoretically

farmer

Last week, when we initially put together our first draft of roster projections for the NLDS, we were somewhat undecided between including veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and rookie utility man Kyle Farmer. As the regular season continues to dwindle away for the Dodgers, there hasn’t been much news regarding Gonzo’s back injury, yet based on the amount of playing time Gonzalez has been given lately, Farmer may have the inside track to a NLDS roster spot—at least in theory.

Prior to this season, Gonzalez had never missed significant time due to injury. Mired by two elongated stints on the disabled list this year, though, the 14-year veteran hasn’t been himself all season. The herniated disks in his back obviously had major effects on his numbers, as he posted a slash line of .238/.283/.335 with only two home runs and 29 RBI over 248 plate appearances. He hasn’t seen much action in the month of September, having collected 16 plate appearances in only eight of the 24 games that the Dodgers have played.

Gonzo is scheduled to start Tuesday evening’s contest against the Padres, his first start since going 0-for-5 against the Giants back on September 11. And while the team has been relatively quiet about the overall status of his back, he’s seemingly running out of time to prove his worth as a member of the prospective postseason roster. His leadership and dugout presence will certainly be valuable in a playoff run, however, he can easily exude such skills by being a spectator in the dugout. If his back injury indeed is preventing him from swinging the bat competently, there isn’t much sense in him limiting the team’s potential postseason production by taking up a spot on the roster.

In terms of MLB experience, Farmer is on the opposite spectrum of Gonzo, but would serve primarily as an emergency catcher, if only to open up more opportunities for Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes to collect their fair share of AB in the playoffs. Even if he’s called upon for a pinch-hitting scenario of some sort in the postseason, the 27-year-old Farmer has already proven to an extent that he can handle big league pitching, having gone 5-for-16 in the bigs this year, including a monumental walkoff double against the Giants on July 30.

By including Gonzalez on the NLDS roster, it would lessen the chances for Farmer to make the postseason squad, which, in turn, would conceivably limit the number of AB for either Grandal or Barnes.

Regardless of what happens over the next few weeks, all eyes will be on Gonzalez on Tuesday evening as he tests his back to see just how far he can push himself through his impairment.

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In other news, right fielder Yasiel Puig is also penciled in to start Tuesday’s contest against San Diego, so long as he can manage to show up to work on time and partake in the necessary pregame activities.

Puig was benched on Sunday after making the final out in Saturday’s loss the Giants with a halfhearted attempt at stealing second base, an effort which he was tug out without even sliding.

Subsequently, he was benched in the opener against the Padres on Monday, this time showing up late for a scheduled pregame batting practice session.

Veteran Curtis Granderson started in right field in the finale on Sunday against San Francisco, and utility man Enrique Hernandez got the nod in right against San Diego on Monday.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

 

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5 thoughts on “Kyle Farmer Could Get NLDS Roster Nod Over Adrián González, Theoretically

  1. Although I think that this unspoken (or maybe spoken) rule about not using your second catcher because the starter might get injured is absolutely ridiculous, most MLB teams seem to subscribe to it. Barnes is such a valuable player, both for his versatility and pinch hitting, that I think Farmer will definitely be on the roster. I have absolutely no problem with that. I think I’ve asked this question before, but I’ll ask it again: does anyone have access to the stat as to how often (what percentage of time) the starting catcher gets injured and has to exit a game? I’m guessing it’s a very small number and you can always find some guy on your roster who caught in high school or college to throw in there on those very rare occasions. In the meanwhile, ignoring this potential situation enables you to use your non-starting catcher however it best helps the team (insert him as a double switch in the sixth, pinch hit him in the seventh, etc.).

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      1. I think they would actually go without any catcher rather than put Kenley back there. Roberts has mentioned Puig’s name before when this question has come up, but of course if Puig has been late to the field on that particular day, he might be disqualified. 🙂 Do you think we could trade for Chris Hatcher? I bet Mickey Hatcher would gladly catch for a spot on the playoff roster. I don’t expect Joc to be a playoff participant but I do think his last few at bats have looked better. I wonder what would happen if they gave Joc a couple of starts this week and he started pounding the ball? And to bring this full circle, do you think he can catch? I know – left handed.

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