We’re not all that far away from September 1, and that means roster expansion is looming. Teams will no longer be restricted to 25 active players, and can activate as many members of the 40-man roster as they please. I have a lot of issues with that setup — September games mean a lot, and to have them played under different rules makes no sense to me — but that’s the system we live under, so it’s time to figure out who we’ll see added.
In theory, that means a team could have 40 players available for every game, but for a variety of reasons — injuries, service team, simple logistics — that never happens. Usually, teams add six or seven players, and that’s what the Dodgers did last year, adding Drew Butera, Scott Van Slyke, Dee Gordon, Stephen Fife and Peter Moylan on Sept. 1, then Chris Withrow a few days later. Remember when Gordon and Van Slyke weren’t big parts of the team? Remember when Moylan existed? Man, so much changes in a year.
So who are the Dodgers looking at? Well, maybe fewer “new” faces than you’d think. We know with a considerable degree of certainty that these three names are givens:
Federowicz will come up because every single team in baseball adds a third catcher in September, and he’s the only viable choice in the organization. Ned Colletti said on the radio earlier this week that Guerrero and Pederson are both expected to come up (perhaps on Sept.2, since the Isotopes play their final game on Sept. 1), and that will be a long-awaited look at two of the more highly-touted hitters in the system. It’s troublesome that Guerrero continues not to hit in Triple-A, and we don’t know exactly what the plan for Pederson is yet, but it’ll be fun to have them around anyway. Barring a trade first, it seems likely that Pederson would take the injured Stephen Fife‘s spot on the 40-man roster.
Who else? Well, it might actually be less about calling minor leaguers up and more about activating the injured. These are the players currently on the 15-day disabled list:
Beckett isn’t expected back, so scratch him. Ramirez will probably be activated on Sunday, so that probably means that either Miguel Rojas or Erisbel Arruebarrena will be optioned down to Triple-A and then returns in September. Ryu, Perez, Rodriguez and Uribe should all be ready to return at some point.
Right there, that’s already eight players — Federowicz, Guerrero, Pederson, Ryu, Rodriguez, Perez, Uribe, whoever gets bumped for Ramirez — and although they won’t all be ready on Sept. 1, that’s more than we usually see, and we haven’t even talked about Carlos Triunfel, who has been up a few times but may not be needed when all of the infielders are healthy, and Yimi Garcia, who has been very impressive at Triple-A. (One would think that remaining 40-man players Red Patterson and Matt Magill aren’t really in the mix, and Jose Dominguez is on the disabled list.)
So if you look at all of these names, only Pederson hasn’t been seen in the big leagues, unless Garcia comes up as well. And, of course: Does anyone think Colletti will make it through the rest of the month without some kind of additional deal? What we think this looks like today could easily change considerably by September.