Diamondbacks @ Dodgers July 31, 2012: Miley vs Capuano

July 31, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

So after all of the trade deadline fun, tonight’s roster doesn’t really look all that different than last night’s. Brandon League takes Josh Lindblom‘s spot on the roster, but Shane Victorino is still en route from the east coast and probably won’t be available for tonight. When he arrives, the Dodgers will have an interesting roster question on their hands. Victorino already has a spot on the 40-man, since Michael Antonini was DFA’d (and remember the two times he was called up and never got into a game? Yeesh) but someone will need to get cut in order to make room on the 25-man roster.

So… who might that be? Victorino is obviously going to be the everyday left fielder, and that sets a few pieces into motion, because it pushes Bobby Abreu, Juan Rivera, Tony Gwynn, & Jerry Hairston all out of left field playing time. Hairston, of course, isn’t going anywhere but back to the infield, and as much as I’d like to be rid of Rivera, the inability to upgrade on James Loney at the deadline means that Rivera will still be needed to pick up playing time at first.

Diamondbacks
Dodgers
CF
Young
LF
Hairston
2B
Hill
2B
M.Ellis
LF
Kubel
CF
Kemp
1B
Goldschmidt
RF
Ethier
RF
Upton
3B
Ramirez
C
Montero
1B
Rivera
3B
Johnson
SS
Cruz
SS
Drew
C
Treanor
P
Miley
P
Capuano

That leaves you with Abreu & Gwynn, but don’t forget that Hairston heading back to the infield means there’s less need for Juan Uribe, if Hanley Ramirez, Luis Cruz, & Hairston are combining to hold down the left side. (As if there’s ever a need for Uribe, but still.) As nice a job as Cruz has done, he’s still only got a .293 OBP and Don Mattingly has been pretty clear that the plan is for Ramirez to move back to short sooner than later, so with Hairston’s throwing issues I don’t know that this is the time for Uribe to be gone yet, at least until they acquire another option in August – which I still believe they will do.

So if that’s all true, you’re down to Abreu & Gwynn, and Abreu has been awful; for two months, hitting just .214/.318/.295 since the start of June. Considering that he’s 38, offers negative defensive value, and has already been cut by one team this year, it might be time to thank him for his service and move on, and maybe that’ll be what happen. Is it that simple, though? Gwynn can’t hit either, somehow having the worst offensive season of an already mediocre career, and he’s been worse over the last two months than even Abreu has (.195/.246/.256). I know he’s got a contract for next year, and that’s probably what will save him, but with Victorino in the fold and expanded rosters only a month away, suddenly Gwynn’s status as the only guy other than Matt Kemp who can play center field doesn’t seem as necessary.

Anyway, it’ll probably be Abreu or an unexpected injury, but it’s fine to think about. I’ll be at Wrigley Field tonight, watching the Pirates beat up on whatever is left of the Cubs.

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