Outfielder Carl Crawford is finally set to rejoin the club in Atlanta on Monday and the clock has run out for the Dodgers to make a decision. Crawford has been out since April with a torn oblique muscle. He had been rehabbing between Oklahoma City and Rancho but it appears he’s ready to play. It’s been very convenient for the Dodgers since they haven’t had to make a roster decision. Now their hands are being forced with Crawford set to return on Monday when the club travels into Atlanta to begin a three game series. The question remains, who will the Dodgers cut to clear room for Crawford?
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The answer should be as simple as apple pie. Currently the only Dodgers with options remaining are Kike Hernandez and Scott Van Slyke. However both of those players are pretty vital to the successful operation of the Dodger’s bench. They may have a glut of outfielders again, but losing Van Slyke’s power, or Hernandez’s versatility and spark would be a huge subtraction.
Designating Alberto Callaspo for assignment has to be the answer here. There is not much reason to keep him around anymore. The guy is dead weight. He’s roster driftwood. Callaspo is hitting .261 (18 for 69) with the Dodgers and just .227 (40 for 176) overall this season with just seven extra-base hits in 201 plate appearances. He’s nothing more than a mediocre singles hitter with no power. Why hold onto him over Van Slyke or Kike?
Van Slyke had been battling a back injury since the beginning of the season, which is a probable reason for his lack of playing time and diminished production. It still wouldn’t make any sense to force him to languish in Oklahoma City just to keep Callaspo on the roster. Van Slyke is hitting .252 with 4 home runs and 18 runs batted in while playing in 49 games. He’s posted a .763 OPS in 131 plate appearances.
Call to the Pen
Don Mattingly has said that he wants Kike to be the backup centerfielder to Joc Pederson while Andre Ethier can spell Yasiel Puig occasionally in right field. The club has said that Ethier will be the starting left fielder, even when Crawford comes back. We’ll see if they keep their word on that. Banana boy can pkay third base as well. Hernandez is batting .262 (27 for 103) with 3 home runs in 111 plate appearances in 2015, while providing lots of potassium in the clubhouse.
It doesn’t seem logical to hold onto someone who doesn’t bring any value. If the Dodgers DFA Callaspo nobody is going to claim him on waivers. That means they are likely to be able to keep him within the organization when he clears waivers. The brain trust has shown that they are willing to roll the dice by dangling players on waivers to maneuver them back onto the roster. Why not take that gamble with Callaspo?
The one annoying caveat to this is that if Callaspo is designated and he is claimed, then that means the Dodgers essentially traded Juan Uribe for eight weeks of Callaspo and have nothing to show for it. With Hector Olivera nowhere to be seen. Yes I am still not over that.
I am imploring Andrew Friedman to make the right call here. Don’t be foolish Mr. Friedman. The writing is on the wall. The prudent move is right in front of your face. Make the right move.