Who to Expect When Rosters Expand on September 1

Orlando Ramirez—USA TODAY Sports

Beginning in 2020, the rules will change as far as roster expansion goes in September. The new regulation will allow a club to carry just 28 players on its expanded roster as opposed to the full 40 permitted by today’s rules. This should make for some interesting conjecture, especially with the Dodgers, who annually like to give many regulars prescribed rest periods down the stretch run of the season.

Regardless, there isn’t anything stopping Los Angeles from loading up its active roster next week, although it has been hinted by management that this season may not see as many call-ups compared to years past. However, based on who might be able to contribute at the big league level, fans may indeed see a full dugout come September 1.

As far as players on the 40-man roster go, I broke down all the players into “probables,” “definite doubtfuls” and “maybes.”

On my doubtful list, I have Keibert Ruiz, Yadier Alvarez and Dennis Santana. Ruiz suffered a broken finger on his right hand earlier in August and is definitely out for the remainder of the season. Alvarez has been listed on Double-A Tulsa’s DL since April and has shown no signs of being ready to throw. Santana, who began the season on the big league roster, hasn’t been able to get it together since his demotion. In 89 innings at Triple-A OKC this year, he has a whopping 51 walks with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.

Still, I think there could be small chances that Ruiz and Santana get invites to be present in the big league dugout for the benefit of being exposed to the major league atmosphere, similar to the opportunity that catcher Will Smith had last year.

For the “maybe” group, I only have two players—reliever Scott Alexander and utility man Tyler White. The last we heard about Alexander, he went to visit a nerve specialist a few weeks back for the problems with his forearm. The lefty also had issues with his thumb, but it will probably be the neurological issues which keep him from seeing any more action this year. I list White as a maybe only because he could be the victim of a release if the Dodgers need to make a 40-man spot to promote infield prospect Gavin Lux, as suggested by several media outlets close to the organization.

The probables account for a whopping 13 prospective call-ups. Position players include catcher Austin Barnes, veteran infielder David Freese, utility men Kristopher Negron and Edwin Rios, as well as outfielders Kyle Garlick and Alex Verdugo, so long as Vedugo’s oblique injury is fully healed. Based on his current progress, Verdugo’s recall may be delayed by a week or two.

The lone starting pitcher who will be recalled at some point is lefty Rich Hill. There have been some reports that have already stated that there’s a possibility the veteran could be part of the prospective playoff rotation, if he indeed can prove that he’s both effective and 100% healthy. There will also need to be a 40-man spot created for Hill, who has been listed on the 60-day injury list since early July.

The probable relievers include JT Chargois, Dylan Floro, Ross Stripling, Josh Sborz and Jaime Schultz.

Consequently, lefty Julio Urias will be eligible to return from his suspension on September 3.

While the expanded roster will certainly allow skipper Dave Roberts to provide some much needed rest to his regulars, the next several weeks will also be a tryout of sorts for players who may be considered for the team’s postseason roster.


26 thoughts on “Who to Expect When Rosters Expand on September 1

  1. So Alvarez never even pitched this year? What a waste of talent! And did Morgan Cooper ever pitch this year? Thx Dennis

  2. White certainly seems like he’d be the first to go if they need a spot for Lux by this weekend.
    Once the off-season comes there will probably be a number of additions to the 40-man to protect them from the Rule 5 and I could see any or all of the following in danger of losing their current spots: White, Schultz, Sborz,
    Possibilities to be traded: Chargois, Yimi, Garlick, Rios, Barnes, Kolarek
    Likely not to be re-signed: Hill, Martin, Gyorko
    Likely to retire: Freese
    I have no idea how many players AF feels he needs to protect but it looks like he won’t have any problem creating roster spots for them.

    1. I think Cristian Santana could be one of those guys that gets protected. Strange thing about him, though, is his power numbers almost fell off the map this year. I think he only has something like 10 this year after hitting twenty-something last year. However, I think he has made more contact while hitting for a higher average.

      1. Interesting since every other baseball player in the world seems to be going in the opposite direction.

      2. When you have a minute Dennis, it would be great to get a list of guys who need to be protected this winter, although I’ll be the first to admit that list isn’t urgent since the Rule 5 isn’t until December.

  3. I must have been out of the room the other night when the Dodgers pulled this shift on Hosmer (having the right fielder play so shallow it looked like he was an infielder playing a little deep). Anyway, here’s a link to a FanGraphs article that explains all the math involved.
    Scoop, you might find this interesting.
    Bear, don’t even bother to read it. It will drive you crazy.
    As for the rest of you, I don’t know where you fall on the spectrum.

    1. Well, I read it. And re-read it. The numbers add up, but so did my questions. The first thing that comes to mind is why the hell is a 6’4” 225 pound left handed hitting first baseman hitting so many ground balls? Fix that. A guy that size doesn’t need to get all of it to find the seats. The second thing … in looking at that defensive alignment I see a .750 batting average if this guy could bunt. All the infielders are near the outfield grass and the left handed pitcher falls off the mound to third base side. Just don’t bunt it back to him and you can walk to first. The last thing – it just feels wrong to give the guy a double on a routine fly ball to his pull side. I would just play the shortstop more up middle.

      1. 1) The “experts” have been asking your ground ball question about Hosmer for years
        2) Bunting is now forbidden for anyone over 5’7″

      2. Hosmer needs to study a Von Skyhack video.

        1 for 7 WRISP so far. Seems like I read numbers like that several times a week. I don’t of course but it seems like it. More strikeouts than hits again. That’s never a good thing. Still a couple innings left. I don’t think Pollock is a leadoff hitter.

        Garcia in. Don’t expect a clean inning.

  4. Muncy was just hit on the wrist with a 94 mph pitch and has left the game.
    Someone tell Lux to pack his bag.

  5. Maybe Hosmer heard us talking.

    I guess the plan is to continue to let Jansen attempt to close.

    It’s about to become September. This pen better get their collective act together. It’s not going to be easy to score 9 runs every game in the playoffs.

  6. The golfer Stadler? See I don’t even know who he is! Sadler! Martin and Sadler our post season shut down closers!

  7. hi fellas, I collect baseball cards and I’m always interested to see which rookies they include each year. Sometimes they’re obvious (Maeda, Seager, Bellinger, Verdugo, etc.), sometimes they feel a year late (Ferguson’s is 2019 and felt like he could’ve been in 2018), and others are confounding. In the Topps Heritage high number set just released, they included Drew Jackson, Connor Joe, and Josh Sborz. Sborz makes sense, since he actually played in the majors. I don’t get Jackson or Joe… or Dennis Santana (his rookie cards were earlier in 2019) for that matter. Jackson was passed by Beaty, Garlick, and Rios; I wonder if Joe will ever get out from behind the Gettin’ Jiggy With It Smith/Ruiz logjam. The baseball card gurus can’t foresee if someone like Santana has a bad year… but to my memory, was he ever in conversation for anything other than a spot start here and there? Last year and this year? I’m looking forward to the Topps Update set to be released, and hoping for rookie cards for Smith & Beaty. Any thoughts from you guys on Jackson, Joe, Santana?

    1. Jackson was picked up as a rule 5 player and then returned to the Dodgers if I remember right. Joe was a rule 5 pick also and returned to LA by the Giants. None of those guys are listed on the Dodgers top 30 prospects. As for Topps, they get it right sometimes. but not all the time. As for Garlick, Rios, and Beaty, Rios is still listed as a top 30 prospect, but Garlick was never on that list, and since he is of rookie status now, Beaty is no longer a prospect and the same goes for Will Smith. Santana is currently being used out of the pen at OKC and from all reports, he is doing very well in that spot. Joe has not been catching at all. He has been playing 1st base most of the time. Ben Moore and Barnes were doing most of the catching. Jose Lobaton, who they signed a couple of weeks ago has been catching too. They are carrying Joe as an outfielder. Jackson is a SS. but he is like 3 years older than Lux. The catching corps is a lot deeper than just Smith-Ruiz. Cartaya is in the system and highly regarded, Connor Wong who is now at Tulsa, he was promoted after Ruiz went up to OKC. Jackson was picked by the Phillies in the rule 5 draft and traded to Baltimore who returned him to LA. Joe, who is 27, was claimed by the Reds, and traded to the Giants and then returned to LA. The scouts feel, and you can look this up by going to the Dodger web site and clicking on top 30 prospects, then click on Santana’s picture and the scouting report comes up. The scouts feel Santana could become a back end of the bullpen pitcher and maybe even a closer. He has that kind of stuff.

      1. Thanks Bear, and it looks like I got my Connors mixed up. I was definitely thinking of Connor Wong

  8. Well, after last nights meltdown, I absolutely feel that Roberts needs to remove Jansen as the closer until he shows he can handle pressure situations again. He blows a save against the Padres? Come on. They have some pop on that team, but he was facing the bottom of the lineup and could not get the job done. Give him a blow, Use him in the 7th or 8th when they have a lead bigger than 2. Sadler and Kelly are throwing the best of anyone out of the pen right now, let them do the job for a couple of weeks. Jansen looked last night like he has no confidence what so ever. I do not trust him with a lead.

    1. I don’t know I would call it a meltdown. I didn’t see it, but the write up I read this morning said it was a routine 229’ fly ball to left that would have been caught easily if the outfield wasn’t shifted. Damm shifts. Then the runner took second because Taylor dove for the ball and it rolled away. Sound accurate? Unless it’s on a foul line nobody should end up at second on a 229’ lazy fly ball. Then he ended up scoring on a Wild Pitch. That of course shouldn’t happen to an experienced closer, but it did, and has, to this year’s version of Kenley.

      Seeing Jansen come in doesn’t feel like it usta did, but even Martin said last night was just “bad luck”. Sure would like to see Jansen get lucky the rest of the year.

      1. That’s pretty accurate Scoop. The ball was sliced down the left field side, Taylor was running full speed, he got his glove on it, but he just missed catching it, and the ball rolled far enough away so that the hitter reached second. Fly to right, runner to third, wild pitch, game tied. But the reason I say what I do is the total look of frustration Jansen had on his face after that happened. Normally, he just pulls his cap down and gets back to business. But not this time. After the inning. coaches were talking to him in the dugout. He was visibly beside himself. He got bailed out when the Padres SS threw the ball over Hosmer’s head and Kike scored. Then they got an insurance run. He just does not look like the same Jansen at all.

      2. Kenley has had a number of really bad relief performances this year. Last night wasn’t one of them. It wasn’t perfect but circumstances intervened to make it worse than it might have been. It certainly isn’t the Kenley of 2-3 years ago, and the headlines are “Jansen blows another save”, but it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.
        Joe Kelly continues to look very good. Will we see a reversion to the mean? Will Doc finally give up and make him the closer? Will that extra pressure be too much for Kelly? Will Martin close out the final game of our 2019 World Series victory? Stay tuned.

      3. I think I get it Bear. It appears Jansen is just not showing the confidence he once did. The “next pitch” axiom apparently isn’t working for him. Not exactly what we all want see in our closer. He needs to put it in the rear view. The fact is Jefe – he’s the guy. He’s paid to close, Kelly isn’t. He’s expected to do what he’s getting paid to do. At this point, who else is there? Everybody down there is 6-7-8. He’s 9. I’d be very surprised to see Doc demote him.

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