Dodgers @ Cardinals, May 30: Offense Gets Two Shots in the Arm

Dodgers
Cardinals
4:15 p.m.
St. Louis, Mo.
CF
Pederson
2B
Wong
3B
Turner
3B
Carpenter
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Holliday
2B
Kendrick
SS
Peralta
RF
Ethier
RF
Grichuk
C
Grandal
C
Molina
LF
Van Slyke
CF
Jay
SS
Rollins
1B
Reynolds
P
Frias (R)
P
Wacha (R)

There are a lot of injury updates to get to today, but one important thing to get out of the way: Jimmy Rollins has finally been moved down in the lineup. This feels like it’s a few weeks too late, but it is still welcome to see. Rollins has actually been hitting better lately, but he’s still projected to be well below average offensively by both Steamer and ZiPs (average rest of season projection: 87 wRC+). Justin Turner has been moved up to take his place, which seems fine. At this point, all of the lineup optimization arguments feel pretty inconsequential compared to the problem which just got solved. Now, hopefully this will stick for a few days.

The other change in the lineup is a very welcome one for a struggling offense: Yasmani Grandal is back, re-activated from the concussion DL. At this point, the upgrade from A.J. Ellis to Grandal is almost as big as what is possible at one position. Chris Heisey was optioned to make room for Grandal, which is interesting. As Eric Stephen points out, Heisey is just a few days short of five years of service time, at which point he can refuse a minor league assignment. As a result, Austin Barnes will remain with the big league club. Ellis will probably still remain as the primary back-up catcher, but it will be exciting to see Barnes’ bat in action (even as a pinch hitter). It also means that Don Mattingly will be more likely to pinch hit for Ellis on his catching days, so there’s that.

In other positive recovery news: Yasiel Puig is finally closer to a potential return. He hasn’t played since April 24th due to his bad hamstring, but in Arizona he is facing Brandon League (also significant) and running in curves. Even more importantly, Puig is nearing another rehab assignment, currently scheduled for the end of next week. No, various internet writers, the Dodgers should not trade him. Frankly, the leap in logic from “Dodger offense struggling” to “Dodgers should trade Puig” is unfathomable. Do better.

Carlos Frias starts for the Dodgers tonight. Frias against the Cardinals is pretty scary, and the Cardinals have Matt Holliday back in the lineup tonight after missing last night’s game due to illness. I would say that I’m hoping for a bounce-back from Frias, but it’s hard to do much worse than he did last weekend.

Also worth noting: today’s game is being broadcast on FOX, and is not blacked out in LA. Enjoy.

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 Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.