Hey, remember that guy up above? It’s our old friend Juan Uribe — yep, still sounds weird to say that — and we haven’t seen him in over a month thanks to a hamstring injury. He’s been rehabbing at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, and is expected to be activated tomorrow when the Dodgers return home to face the Cardinals.
When he rejoins the roster, a move is going to have to be made, and it’s not going to be as simple as sending down the player who replaced him. (Erisbel Arruebarrena is already back in the minors.) But when you look at this roster, there’s still a surprising amount of semi-redundant fluff on the edges, along with a pitcher too many, along with two stars with injury problems. What that means is that there’s not really an easy answer here. So… who’s going to go?
In his 12th professional season, Jamie Romak finally got the call to the big leagues nearly a month ago when Carl Crawford went down, and he’s done, uh, very little. Romak has made starts at first, third, and right, but in 23 plate appearances he has all of one hit (a double) and two walks. With Uribe back, Justin Turner healthy, and the Dodgers about to leave a DH city, that would seem to put a dent in opportunities for Romak to be useful. Not that 23 plate appearances should change what we thought we did or didn’t know of course; it’s just that he hasn’t done much with them.
But he has some reason to hope, because…
…if you believe in the “last in, first out,” rule, then it’s Carlos Triunfel, who came up on June 14 when Chone Figgins was injured. Triunfel has barely played at all; his 0-3 last night represent nearly half of his total of seven plate appearances on the year, though he’s at least hit a homer in that time.
He’s generally been used as a defensive replacement at shortstop. That’s clearly something this team needs, so that would bode well for him, except that…
…Triunfel and Miguel Rojas seem completely redundant, in that they’re utility infielders who can’t hit but offer defensive value and versatility. In 35 plate appearances, including six starts at third, two at shortstop, and one at second, he’s hit just .265/.286/.294, so no, he’s not an offensive asset. You could easily make the argument that although Romak hasn’t shown much, he’s at least got a different skillset, one that includes some power, while Rojas and Triunfel are the same player.
Rojas’ no-hitter saving play for Clayton Kershaw might give him the leg up over Triunfel to stick around, but what if…
…the never-ending shoulder injuries of Hanley Ramirez force him to the disabled list instead? Remember, Don Mattingly said he isn’t concerned that Ramirez’ shoulder could be worthy of a DL trip, which means you absolutely should be. Ramirez has still been productive while the shoulder has been bothering him, so maybe this isn’t likely, but there’s certainly an argument for it. If Ramirez does hit the DL, then obviously you need both Rojas and Triunfel.
Still, it seems much more likely that they’ll keep Ramirez around and force Mattingly to play a man short as needed, which might make the best option…
Chris Perez or Paul Maholm
…to finally drop down from 12 pitchers to 11, which is something I’ve been talking about for a while, especially since the rotation has been very good and the bullpen has been relatively well-rested. Chris Perez has only pitched twice in the last two weeks; Paul Maholm three times. It certainly seems like an extra bench player would be a more effective use of a roster spot.
That will never happen, of course. It makes way too much sense to. Besides, there’s another game tonight in Kansas City first. I think we all know this will just get solved by whatever injury happens tonight.