Cleveland Sporting Team @ Dodgers July 2, 2014: House Money Lineup

Well now, that’s certainly a lineup. Hanley Ramirez sits, because Hanley Ramirez in the starting lineup is no longer compatible with the reality we live in. Yasiel Puig sits, because Don Mattingly thinks he “looks tired,” which is probably not a euphemism for “is hitting .256 .323 .337 since he tweaked his hip in Colorado last month,” but may be related to the awkward tumble off the wall he took trying to track down a home run last night. Adrian Gonzalez sits, because he’s got what sounds like a minor neck issue.

Indians
Dodgers
12:10pm PT
Los Angeles, CA
2B
Kipnis
2B
Gordon
SS
Cabrera
C
Ellis
CF
Brantley
CF
Ethier
1B
Santana
LF
Kemp
C
Gomes
1B
Robinson
RF
Raburn
RF
Van Slyke
3B
Chisenhall
3B
Rojas
LF
Aviles
SS
Triunfel
P
Bauer (R)
P
Ryu (L)

Of course, it’s also related to the fact that it’s a 12:10 p.m. local start before a road trip to Colorado and Detroit, that the team has won three of four and six of eight, that they haven’t had a day off since June 19 and won’t have another one since Monday. This team has played hard over the last few weeks, and while the optics of having a third of the regular lineup out at the same time probably aren’t great, it really does make sense. The Indians are sitting Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and David Murphy, for their part. It’s a day game in the final day of a series. This stuff happens.

Gonzalez getting a day off further makes sense today, because the Dodgers are set to face four lefties in a row in Colorado, and Clint Robinson is absolutely unplayable against fellow southpaws. If you’re going to get him his first career start, today is the day. It’s true, of course, that Gonzalez has had more struggles than usual against lefties this year, but his past history says otherwise, and nothing about Robinson says he should ever get a major league plate appearance against a lefty, ever. I’m sure Scott Van Slyke gets at least one start at first in Colorado, anyway.

So with that trio out, the remaining lineup is pretty interesting. A.J. Ellis hits second for the first time this year and just the ninth time in his career. Robinson hits fifth, making him the first Dodger to hit fifth in his first career start since James Loney did so in 2006, although if it’s “fifth or higher” we need only look to Puig hitting leadoff in his debut last year. Ethier hits third for the first time in more than a year, having done so twice in April of 2013. Remember when he spent basically all of 2011 there? Sheesh. Without Puig, Van Slyke makes his first start of the season in right. That means that you could technically say that the Dodgers have three center fielders in the lineup today. You’d be institutionalized immediately, of course, but you could say it.

Oh, and Ramirez? Tomorrow is reportedly the “drop-dead day” for when they’ll decide if he needs to go on the disabled list or not. His attempt to start against St. Louis, and his pinch-hitting appearances the last two days against Cleveland (all for an intentional walk and a strikeout) have ruined any backdating possibilities. I bet you don’t have to think too hard to know how this is going to end.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.