How Will Dodgers Make Room for Chris Taylor?

With most of baseball’s current news surrounding Tuesday’s summer trade deadline, the Dodgers find themselves in somewhat of a unique position because of the potential influx of players returning from the injured list.

For weeks now, it seems like we’ve been discussing player returns from the pitching perspective — see players like Blake Treinen, Dustin May and Brusdar Graterol — however, many of us have forgotten about some of the position players who could provide an impact upon their returns, specifically super-utility man Chris Taylor.

While Taylor’s left foot fracture has kept him on the shelf for nearly a month, he is getting closer to a return. The 31-year-old righty hitter will begin his rehab stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday night, as OKC is set to start a long six-game set against Salt Lake City on the road.

Skipper Dave Roberts told reporters on Sunday that he expects Taylor’s rehab to last at least seven games, giving the team an extended look at outfielder James Outman on both sides of the ball. Because of the new roster rules limiting the number of pitchers, we know that Taylor will be replacing a position player on the roster upon his return.

After Outman’s phenomenal debut performance against the Rockies in last weekend’s series finale, it’s tough to imagine the team optioning the youngster back to OKC, particularly if he continues to produce offensively. However, Taylor’s return will come at a time when the club seemingly begins auditioning players for the playoff stretch and deciding if position players like Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger and Trayce Thompson will be part of the postseason roster.

With the regular season concluding on October 5, it gives players on the active roster a little over two months to prove their respective values. Although minor, there still could be a chance Outman comes back later for the playoffs, if his services aren’t needed beforehand due to an injury.

While there’s plenty of speculation on how the postseason’s starting rotation and bullpen fills out, we mostly have a good idea on how the position player portion of the roster will look, unless Andrew Friedman blows the baseball world away by acquiring someone like Juan Soto before Tuesday’s deadline.

As it stands, Muncy is hitting .161 in 339 plate appearances this year, although his OBP is much more respectable at .310, thanks to his ability to draw so many walks. Bellinger is hitting .207 with a dismal .267 OBP in 374 plate appearances.

Something else to consider is the potential return of Edwin Rios, who is continuing a lengthy two-week rehab with Oklahoma City. Rios is a Blackhorse at this point to make the playoff roster, but we’ve seen crazier things happen in the past.

Regardless, once Tuesday night rolls around, we should have at little more clear idea of how things might shape up for the stretch run.

43 thoughts on “How Will Dodgers Make Room for Chris Taylor?

  1. The smart move would be to put Muncy in the IL and let players like Thompson get the at bats. But I doubt that happens.

  2. “With the regular season concluding on October 5, it gives players on the active roster a little over a month to prove their respective values.”

    I think that makes it a little over 2 months to prove their value. But it still means a lot of guys will have to elbow other guys out of the way for playing time.

    I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Rios included in a Soto or Lopez trade if either happens.

    I definitely don’t see room on the roster for both Lamb and Outman once CT3 returns. Lamb’s experience is his advantage. Outman’s defensive prowess is his advantage. Outman’s remaining options work against him.

      1. I’m really good with 1 + 1. Anything beyond that really throws me.

        Besides that, we don’t rely on you for math, Dennis, we rely on you for insightful Dodger commentary, which you do very well. And, of course, dredging up long-forgotten Dodger reliever names from the deep past.

  3. Nothing has gotten Bellinger to stop swinging from his heels. Maybe now that they have some very competent outfielders they could sit Belli down and make him reassess his swing. Bellinger has so much talent it’s a shame to see him waste his at bats attempting to blast balls out of the stadium.

  4. Can’t believe the Padres got Soto, AND got the Nats to take Hosmers 38 mil left on his contract. They’ve been trying to dump Hosmers contract on somebody for two years.
    Tatis, Soto, Machado, Bell, not a bad 1, 2, 3, 4.

    So my prediction is the Dodgers make a run at Drury.

    1. Hosmer has a no-trade provision and right now he’s saying no.
      However, the trade will go through even if Hosmer isn’t ultimately part of it. It will just be reconfigured slightly.
      Nats are only taking on whatever is left of Hosmer’s salary for this year. Pads are paying the next three years.
      So basically, SD could have almost accomplished the same thing by just releasing Hosmer (except for the roughly 8 mil remaining in 2022).

  5. We miss on Soto, and get Gallo? What the heck, I think I’d rather give Gallo’s ABs go to Outman, or Rios, when he gets back.

  6. I’ll bet they release Homer, they can’t play Homer, Bell, and Voit, all in the same lineup. At least Homer may get a choice of where he plays.

  7. Does getting Gallo put Bellinger on the block? Where do all of the current outfielders fit?

    1. The way I see it, there are two possibilities, and that’s assuming that Outman goes back to OKC as soon as CT3 returns next week.

      1) Gallo is included in a trade which will be completed in the next 3 hours.
      2) Lamb or Belli or Max will not be on the roster much longer.

  8. Yeah Jeff I’m with you about Outman going back to OKC, but how does Gallo, Lamb, CT3, and Trace all share LF. Maybe your right, there is another move coming.

  9. I don’t like what’s happened so far, but I must admit, this is one of my favorite times of the year. So much action in such a short period of time, and to know year after year the Dodgers are usually in a position to do something.

  10. My first thought Dennis was that the scouting dept thinks they can fix him, but if they can’t fix Max, or Cody how are they going to fix Gallo.

  11. Jeff now that I think about your trade comment, I think if you’re right about another move it will be for someone besides Gallo, anybody could have gotten Gallo

    for practically nothing, so I’m thinking it would be someone else that get moved. I think Gallo is staying here, whether we want him or not.

  12. Latest rumor has us talking to the marlins about Pablo Lopez. There’s you deal you were talking about Jeff.

    1. Marlins need a center fielder. Gallo can play center.
      So can Outman and Bellinger.
      The mystery deepens.
      Two hours on the clock.

  13. Drury to the Pads, I missed on that one too.

    Soto, Bell, Hader, Drury, this is a much different team than it was a couple of days ago, I don’t think they can catch the Dodgers for the division, but they are going to be a tough team to play in the playoffs.

  14. The Padres just let it all hang out and they are going to be hell in October. We should have met their asking price for Soto. His batting average is down this year but he’s been a .300 30 HR 100 RBI guy every year of his career and he’s only 23. His OPS is insane. They just got a hall of fame player before he even hits his prime. No price was too much for that. I was hoping we could get him or Ohtani but we got Joey freaking Gallo. Very disappointed in Friedman right now. He let his prime rival completely revamp their already loaded roster and didn’t do a damn thing. Now we will lose Trea Turner in the off-season as he’s going back East almost assuredly. I would have loved to get Hader as well to take Kimbrel’s place. He was a terrible acquisition. Should have just kept Kenley if they wanted an over the hill closer.

  15. Don’t know what to think. We really needed a couple of outfielders. Now we still need a couple of outfielder? Muncy has no trade value and I don’t think they will give him away and pay his salary because he’d be dfa’d in a week and dodgers won’t let that happen. They are very loyal. Outman has never been part of their plans and releasing bellinger won’t happen. Pads a problem in post season as someone said. Bit scary as a matter of fact. Have to wonder what AF is thinking.

  16. So remember when Kasten stated they were not planning to trade top prospects? The Dodgers are owned by Guggenheim. Friedman reports to Kasten many people forget that. The head guy states POLICY!! Kasten is the head guy. The Dodgers cleaned out some of their 40 man roster with McKinstry, Lamb, Cleavinger and White all being traded to leave room for Taylor, Treinen, Graterol and Buehler. To me the Gallo deal makes no sense although Beeter was certainly expendable as he was not going to crack the Dodgers roster any time in the next couple of years. So does that tell us that the Dodgers are not going to depend on Muncy or perhaps Bellinger for the playoffs? My bet is they are not betting on Muncy who has a 13 million dollar extension to pick up in 23. But why Gallo? He has been even worse than Bellinger for strikeouts. Especially with how formidable the Padres now are can the Dodger line up carry struggling hitters like Gallo, Bellinger and Muncy? Something’s gotta give.

    1. Not sure why you think getting Gallo means they don’t plan to depend on Muncy. They play totally different positions. If they had gotten an infielder, say Drury, that might have indicated something about Max, but to me this says they plan to play him.

      They decided they would rather platoon Gallo with Trayce than they would Lamb. Gallo is a much better fielder, although at this point a substantially worse hitter.

      For whatever reason, they haven’t been impressed enough with Outman’s debut to make him the other half of that platoon.

      Andrew surprised the heck out of us last year at the deadline, and I suppose you could say he did the same again today. If Preller hadn’t gone totally berserk, it probably wouldn’t feel quite as blah.

  17. With Gallo an outfielder it means Taylor will probably be playing the infield. Freeman is at 1st and T Turner is at SS. You will have Rios coming back soon. So you will have Taylor, Lux, J Turner, Muncy, Rios, and Alberto to play at 2nd, 3rd, and DH. When/if Rios comes back who goes? As long as Thompson continues to hit he will probably be platooned in left. Taylor of course can play all of those positions and give a guy a rest. I would play Lux and sit Muncy down but so far Roberts is not doing that.
    The Dodgers probably win the NL West and get a bye. But if they do not fix the holes in their line up they will not be successful against teams on par with them. Mets and the Braves have added to their pitching as the Padres did with Hader. The Dodgers have a ton of guys coming back. it will be interesting to see what happens. The good news is if they can keep the bye they play one of the survivors of the first round. The Padres though fixed the hole in their line up with formidable hitters and have better relief. They will be a tough challenge in the playoffs,.

    1. The news you’ve been waiting for Tmax. Vargas has been activated!!!!!!
      No word on an accompanying move but I’m assuming JT or Max to the IL, probably JT.

  18. Vargas will be in the major leagues for a long career and possibly an all star at some point. The young man can hit. Reportedly has a great attitude and is good in the clubhouse.

    1. Turns out Vargas will take Lamb’s roster spot since Gallo isn’t here yet.

      That means that once Gallo arrives, something has to happen.

      1. Probably closer to one week.
        Three likely possibilities:
        1) Outman to OKC
        2) Vargas to OKC
        3) JT to IL (but if that was going to happen it would probably be sooner)

  19. I’ve been looking for a silver lining here somewhere. Not everyone can play in NY I’m hoping Gallo gets out of the pressure cooker, comes out to mellow LA, and gets back to his .225 average with his .370+ obp with a bunch of HRs.

    Hey all you prospect hoarding fans out there, you got your wish, we held on to all of them, I hope you guys are right.

    1. Yup. 3 years from now we won’t know today’s prospects just like we don’t know our top prospects from 3 years ago but we will still know who Soto is. Pads supposedly had the best farm system for more than a few years, got nothing out of it and traded them all away and are now buying what they need. The dodger way!!

  20. Take your fan hat off and put on your long-term management hat on. Rookies and players under control are what keep the budget manageable so that you can pay for stars to plug the gaps your Farm System doesn’t produce. This year because the Dodger prospects were not ready and May was in rehab the Dodgers signed Heaney and Anderson. The Dodgers lost Seager but picked up Freeman a guy that dropped in their lap after incredible fumbling by Atlanta.
    Dodgers have Urias, Buehler, Gonsolin, and May all under control with Smith, Lux, Bellinger, Rios, all still on controlled deals.
    The idea of prospect huggers is funny as without them you are the ANGELS! A team with 3 MVP caliber players and a perennial bottom dweller.
    The Dodgers have a lot of talent on the farm. But Vargas, Cartaya, and Miller are in my view sure major league players.
    Next year the Dodger rotation will be Urias, Buehler, Gonsolin, and May not sure if Kershaw comes back or not. Wow, those guys were all Dodger Prospects! I will take great pitching over a great hitting lineup all day. Although batting averages are going to get a huge boost with the barring of radical shifts. Bellinger’s average will probably go up 20-50 points.
    Dodgers only have Betts, Freeman, Taylor, and Barnes under contract in 23. So because of using the Farm to supply players under control financially, they can sign T Turner or ? To fill what they see as a need. All the players the Dodgers see as not making a very talented roster are trade chips.

  21. The dodgers key to success for sure has been their ability to figure out who may be prospects and who are suspects and use them as trade chips before everyone else figures it out. The pads have figured out the dodgers reason for success and are now trying to imitate us uncluding buying what they need. For the first time in 10 years we may have competition in the division.

    1. We had competition last year. The Giants won more games than we did, although I’ll be the first to admit they did it with smoke and mirrors. What we see this year is the real Giants team.

      I was surprised that Farhan didn’t go out and spend money on free agents this year. Now, with our usual success and the Padres upcoming success, he’d better break the bank this winter, because his farm system isn’t going to get the job done.

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