All week long, most of the discussions around the Dodgers blogosphere have been surrounding the impending 25-man roster for the upcoming NLDS. While the majority of the key decisions certainly have already been made, there are a few spots which have come down to the final series of the regular season, with a few of them involving the prospective starting rotation and bullpen. Unfortunately for the pitchers doing the auditioning, Coors Field isn’t exactly the ideal spot to plead a case.
As there’s still the matters of wrapping up the division, vying for home-field advantage, and putting together some much-needed continuity inside the final nine games of the regular season, many fans of the Dodgers can’t help but look ahead and wonder which players will be called upon for the 25-man roster when the postseason arrives in just a few short weeks.
As the month of September is now upon us, and despite the foregone conclusion that the Dodgers will capture their fifth consecutive NL West division crown in the coming weeks, there really hasn’t been much discussion about a prospective playoff roster. Subjectively, it’s probably a lot better that way, because the next four weeks will be an audition of sorts for some areas of the roster, and the bullpen is shaping up to be a place that’s potentially loaded with surprises.
For many followers of the Dodgers, the general consensus was that the club needed some type of upgrade before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. In turn, with elite Baltimore closer Zach Britton being virtually untouchable, Los Angeles snagged a pair of southpaws in Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani during the waning moments of the cutoff period. Yet, now that the need for at least one lefty arm has been addressed, those same followers are still wondering if the team’s relief corps has enough firepower to succeed deep into the 2017 postseason.
According to a report Tuesday evening from Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers will activate veteran Brandon McCarthy from the disabled list to start the middle game of the weekend series against the Royals on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
While it’s probably not the most ideal time to begin a discussion about the Dodgers bullpen considering the way the offense has been producing over the last month, the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline is now a mere four weeks away, and it would be very surprising if the club did not try to upgrade with at least one quality arm.
The Los Angeles Dodgers made several roster moves late Monday afternoon, recalling outfielder Trayce Thompson and righty pitcher Brock Stewart from Triple-A Oklahoma City. To make room on the 25-man roster, the club option right-handed reliever Ross Stripling back to OKC, and place righty starter Brandon McCarthy on the 10-day disabled list with symptoms of tendinitis in his right knee.
If there’s one secondary detail that’s currently being overshadowed by the scorching hot play of the Dodgers right now, it’s the fact that there are still several serious injuries to players which don’t appear to be improving anytime soon. In most cases, the tremendous organizational depth of the club covers just about any type of potential ailment, yet in the case of one certain shortstop, fans everywhere are hoping for just a very minor hiccup.
In a somewhat surprising move on Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Dodgers recalled right-handed pitcher Josh Ravin from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned righty reliever Ross Stripling back to Triple-A OKC.
While most pieces of the bullpen have shown flashes of brilliance during the young 2017 campaign, Friday evening’s implosion against the Diamondbacks left many fans of the Dodgers wondering if the relief corps has the structural integrity to hold up over the long haul, or if the front office crew will feel the need to go shopping for a few upgrades before the trade deadline arrives in July.