After previously getting down to 46, the Dodgers cut three more players yesterday. Non-roster invitee pitchers Trevor Oaks, Yaisel Sierra, and Steve Geltz were reassigned to minor league camp, putting the Dodgers at 43 players.
Oaks had a nice spring for the Dodgers, putting up a 2.31 ERA in 11.1 innings in five games, striking out 11 and walking just three. Most importantly, he seemed confident and never felt overmatched by the hitters. Sierra‘s ERA of 3.65 looks solid, but in 12.1 innings this spring Sierra walked nine and struck out seven, which speaks to the issues he still has to overcome. I never actually noticed Geltz pitch, which probably says more than any number could, but he put up a 3.68 ERA in 7.1 innings.
Once again, none of the players are surprising cuts, and nor is the timing odd.
Speaking of cuts and roster decisions, it seems to be that Andrew Toles may have won at least a share of the left-field platoon.
The Dodgers have a handful of reserve outfielders but only one – Toles – bats left-handed. “I just go out and worry about me. I don’t worry about anybody else,” Toles said, seeming to be genuinely surprised when it was pointed out one half of left field had essentially fallen in his lap. “I don’t know, man. We’ll see how it works out.” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, however, is not ready to commit to a Gutierrez-Toles pairing in left field. “Does it have to be (a left-handed hitter)? No,” Roberts said of the outfielder who steps up with Ethier out. “But obviously you look at the roster, that’s kind of what we envisioned. But by default, it doesn’t have to be Andrew. There are guys that are having good camps and fit on a roster that are major-league players. Those are decisions and discussions that we’ll keep having.”
Of course they’re not going to tip their hand now, but it seems like the obvious move to make, and it’s not like Toles hasn’t been playing like he deserves it.
The reason Toles had a job to win is because Andre Ethier is being shut down and doesn’t have a timetable.
Ethier had a CT scan and X-rays on Tuesday, then met with back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins and the Dodgers medical staff on Saturday. Manager Dave Roberts said Ethier won’t resume baseball activities until the first week of April, essentially shut down a week longer than he already was. “Him taking another week to let it subside, we’ll get a better idea of how aggressive we can be,” Roberts said. “As he stays off it and minimizes his activity, the scarring takes place. Once he’s asymptomatic, we can continue to be more aggressive.”
That sounds … less than ideal. Getting old sucks. One just has to hope Ethier can get healthy at some point, but things are certainly not looking promising at the moment.
Another Dodger that won’t be healthy to start the season is Josh Ravin thanks to his groin strain being re-aggravated. Ravin was a long shot to make the crowded Dodgers pen, but was expected to be on the short-list of potential call-ups should something happen, and now that definitely doesn’t seem to be an option.