Well here we are, another Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still in first in the NL West, and one of the top teams in baseball.
Another Monday, and it still feels like this team is sleepwalking through the season. Another Monday, and the injury merry-go-round is still happening.
The Dodgers, with little depth on their current bench, sent Eddy Alvarez out to roam right field – a position the utility infielder had only previously played seven innings total. He lost a ball in the sun ultimately resulting in a run scoring, and was unable to get to a hit that lead to the Guardians taking the lead for good in the ninth.
After the game, Manager Dave Roberts said he thought that Alvarez was the best choice because Zach McKinstry had just arrived from Triple-A Oklahoma City, and that Chris Taylor also doesn’t have a lot of experience there either. He had also wanted to get Alvarez’s bat in the lineup.
Roberts could have gone with sliding Gavin Lux into left, and then shifting everyone over – Taylor to center, and Bellinger to right. Alvarez could then play into multiple scenarios trading places with either Justin Turner or Max Muncy in the infield.
Regardless, the issue remains that the Dodgers have to look for another outfielder while Mookie is on the injured list, probably at least for another two weeks. Edwin Rios and Kevin Pillar are both on the IL, leaving Alvarez, McKinstry and Hanser Alberto as the only bench pieces.
Promoting Miguel Vargas could mean moving JT to DH more, moving Muncy to second, and having Lux in the outfield more. Taylor and Alvarez could platoon in right. But it seems no matter how you finagle the defense there’s still going to be a big hole in right and that spot in the lineup, aside from CT3 who has been hitting well as of late.
Platooning someone with Alvarez sounds a little risky, again since he has little experience in the outfield. But the Dodgers could just be trying cobble something together until Mookie comes back, or before they grab someone at the trade deadline.
Outfielder James Outman is already on the 40-man roster, but a position player is very highly unlikely to be promoted from Double-A to the majors.
No doubt President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has been working the phones and is figuring out a way to be creative with his bolstering of the roster. And does this roster need it, as the offense continues to lag, and the Dodgers are headed into a tough stretch of games.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles will begin a game road trip in which they face the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, and Colorado Rockies. The Reds swept the Dodgers when they were in L.A., and the Braves and Rockies are both playing really good baseball at the moment.
In total over the next 20 days, the Dodgers will play 20 straight games, including facing the San Diego Padres at home. As of today the Padres are only 0.5 games behind the Dodgers, and if they don’t play well on this road trip they could very find themselves looking up at the Padres when they meet at the very end of the month.