With Joey Gallo officially returning to his New York Yankees Self, the Los Angeles Dodgers can’t bank on him being a legitimate postseason contributor. He’s had plenty of time to settle in at this point, and outside of a few home runs, he’s largely been a footnote in the Dodgers’ book of success.
Now fans might have to wonder: will Gallo even make the postseason roster in a couple of weeks? Thirteen position players will get the nod when the NLDS begins, and Dave Roberts threw a bit of a wrench into it all with his comments on rookie Miguel Vargas.
In Thursday night’s win over the Padres, the final battle between the two teams in a season series where the Dodgers came out on top 15-4 for the year, Vargas notched what ended up being the game-winning hit and recorded three RBI in his first action since Sept. 24.
Vargas now has five hits, two runs scored and six RBI in his last five games played. Gallo has five hits, four runs scored and seven RBI in his last 10 games played. Side by side, it looks like Vargas has been better, but truth is he’s been nothing great (overall) in limited playing time.
That didn’t stop Roberts, however, from hyping up the youngster in regard to earning a nod on the playoff roster. At the moment, the Dodgers have 14 position players on the active roster, meaning one has to go by Oct. 11.
Are Dodgers going to give nod to Miguel Vargas for a postseason roster spot?
On the surface, this would mean one of Gallo or Hanser Alberto are in danger of getting the boot. Though Alberto’s been nothing special, he’s at the very least a “versatile” defensive option and an important clubhouse personality that’s seemingly kept the good vibes rolling. He’s also been with the team the entire year. Do the Dodgers want to tear apart that continuity? Or do they want to ensure they didn’t “lose” the trade with the New York Yankees?
It does feel like Vargas for Gallo would be the right choice here. Vargas offers a shot of youthful energy, as well as a changing of the guard; he’s expected to be a regular once 2023 arrives. Why deprive him of postseason reps when they’re right here?
Gallo is a free agent after this season, and more than likely won’t be back. He’s also not proving to be a difference-maker in any way, whereas Vargas has at least offered an edge and degree of fearlessness some other teams may not possess. Alberto is the intangible “glue guy.” Outside of Gallo’s outfield versatility (which isn’t even needed unless somebody gets hurt), it’s hard to see where he fits.
Roberts’ comments on Vargas may have already gotten Gallo’s early dismissal from LA in motion.