The Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the most complete rosters in Major League Baseball — but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to take full advantage of having two extra spots to play with next week.
Come on. Haven’t you seen how much ping-ponging they’ve done with available bodies in both the outfield and the bullpen?
At this point, LA has used their 40-man roster to the fullest, trying out any and all depth pieces available throughout the year. They’ve even trotted out some depth pieces who were floating in the ether, confidently grabbing free agents from Yoshi Tsutsugo to Shane Greene to, yes, Albert Pujols throughout the 2021 season.
Strange? Sure. Savvy? Definitely. If even one lottery ticket cashes in a league with no salary cap, then why bother being discerning?
Pujols has been worth it. Most of the bullpen attempts have been fruitless.
Over the season’s final month, the Dodgers’ braintrust will likely use their final two roster spots to give trusted bullpen personnel and a gassed rotation a blow or two. This much should already be clear, based on how faithfully they’ve used the opener in recent weeks (while persevering).
Pending the addition of somebody who surprisingly ends up on waivers — Gregory Polanco?! — these three Dodgers are most likely to return to the ranks over the next week.
3. Mitch White
You simply can’t keep the record-setting Mitch White down!
While we once advocated for his removal from the roster entirely (sorry about that), White is clearly a viable innings-eater, finally embodying a capable starter after letting this team down in save situations in early May.
He’s more well-suited to dominate efficiently over seven innings instead of shutting things down in extras with a free runner on second. Makes sense, actually.
White will be the first man back before Sept. 1 if a need arises, but LA surely hopes they can get a healthy week out of their middle-innings guys so his arrival can be a supplement, not a necessity. Since his early-season scuffles, he’s turned things around entirely, striking out 35 men in 35.1 innings with a sterling 1.19 WHIP, all highlighted by his 7.1 innings of two-hit baseball when the team needed it most against the Pirates last week.
Sure, the Dodgers pieced together a sweep, but they didn’t do it in nearly the way you would’ve anticipated. The same man started two games in a three-game set! That’s not normal.
The ‘pen and rotation have obviously been strained this year, and White’s been a savior after looking like an early castoff. He’ll be back, but ideally not until the calendar turns.