Dodgers News: The Los Angeles Dodgers have called up utilityman Zach McKinstry.
There is some Los Angeles Dodgers news pertaining to the roster prior to the team’s game against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday as minor-league utility man Zack McKinstry has been called up to the big-league club.
The Dodgers optioned left-handed pitcher Victor Gonzalez back down to their alternate site to make room for McKinstry on the roster.
McKinstry made a name for himself with Dodger fans after a solid showing in Spring Training 1.0 and by being a featured player in the Dodgers’ intrasquad games. This is the first time that McKinstry has been on the big-league roster.
The lineups for Wednesday’s game are yet to be announced but the Dodgers are facing a right-handed pitcher in Garrett Richards, so it is not out of the realm of possibilities to see McKinstry start at second base to get another left-handed bat in the lineup.
At the very least, McKinstry gives the team another left-handed bat to use off the bench against right-handed pitching as well as another utility fielder to utilize late in games.
What this Dodgers news means for the rest of the team
There are two immediate, primary things to take away from this roster news. First is that the team might start using Enrique Hernandez less against right-handed pitching.
The veteran utility player has always been known as a left-handed pitching specialist but he has gotten his fair shake against right-handed pitching this season. While Hernandez is hitting .280 against right-handed pitching this season, he has a .560 OPS against righties and has not been successful late in game against righties since his explosion on Opening Day.
This simply gives the team a bat that can replace Hernandez late in games for the sake of a matchup without having to sacrifice much defensively.
The other, and more important, takeaway, is that the team could be priming itself for the arrival of Gavin Lux. On one hand, you could argue that Lux might still be quite a ways away from being ready to join the big-league club, hence why McKinstry got the call over Lux.
On the contrary, though, this could simply be the team implementing a similar gameplan that they will use with Lux but with a different left-handed hitter in McKinstry. The reason why McKinstry got the call over Lux could very well be service time.
Lux can spend 50 days on the Dodgers’ roster this season and not lose a year of service time (giving the team one more season of Lux under team control). This means Lux has to miss the first 16 days of the 66-day season.
Today is the 14th day of the season. Lux could be called-up on Saturday and not lose a year of service time. McKinstry very well could be a placeholder.
If I was a betting man, I would bet that McKinstry is back at the alternate site by next Monday.