D’Backs @ Dodgers, May 6, 2013: The Stupid, It Burns

May 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

dodger_stadium_openingday2013And on the 10th day… he rested.

Well, maybe that’s not entirely accurate, because all Mark Ellis has been doing lately is resting. But finally, on the 10th day after originally hurting himself back on April 26th, he’s been placed on the disabled list to make room for the return of Chris Capuano. I can’t overemphasize this enough — Ellis sat, eating up a roster spot, for a week-and-a-half, and while that’s a poor choice in the best of circumstances, it’s unforgiveable when the bullpen is being overworked and Carl Crawford & Adrian Gonzalez are sitting out for games at a time with their own woes. He could actually return on Sunday, believe it or not.

Diamondbacks
Dodgers
CF
Pollock
LF
Crawford
SS
Gregorius
2B
Punto
1B
Goldschmidt
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Ross
CF
Kemp
C
Montero
RF
Ethier
3B
Prado
C
A.Ellis
LF
Parra
3B
Uribe
2B
Wilson
SS
Gordon
P
Cahill
P
Capuano

But wait! There’s more! I hesitated for as long as I could before publishing this because I saw that Adrian Gonzalez was in the lineup, and we’ve seen him be a late scratch for three days in a row due to his neck injury.

Well, he’s playing tonight, but don’t get too excited, because — per Dylan Hernandez — Gonzalez plans to play through the pain of his mild strain, skipping batting practice so he doesn’t aggravate it. He’s actually actively saying he hopes he doesn’t have to dive for a ball. A ballplayer pushing through pain? Such a thing has never ended poorly, ever.

If you thought that was it, you just wait: it gets dumber! Jerry Hairston tested his strained groin muscle during batting practice and came off limping. Don Mattingly said that if Hairston had to go to the disabled list, the club would recall an outfielder who could play either corner. That won’t be Alex Castellanos, who is still injured, but it could be Scott Van Slyke or Elian Herrera or Alfredo Amezaga. It’s probably going to be Herrera, since he’s the only one of the trio who is on the 40-man roster — as though that even matters, which is even more silly, because you just can’t collect enough light-hitting utility players! — and Van Slyke has been strictly a first baseman this year, but the specifics of who don’t even really matter too much at the moment.

Why? Because we shouldn’t have to be guessing at who it will be. It’s not like Hairston suddenly came up lame during batting practice. He’s been nursing this injury for days. Is there really a reason that Herrera or whomever couldn’t have been on a flight to Los Angeles last night or this morning to be on stand-by? If Hairston was good to go, then all you’ve lost is a round trip plane ticket and the Isotopes being down a man for today.

But no: no one is ready to step in. That means that once again, Mattingly is forced to play with a short roster. Not only that, but his primary first baseman is hurting, his backup first baseman is unavailable and probably headed to the disabled list, and his emergency first basemen are Juan Uribe & Luis Cruz. Crush him for his silly bunting choices all you want, but never forget these circumstances.

******

Why, you may ask, did I not include Yasiel Puig in the list of possible outfielders? Well, here he is showing up the batting practice pitcher with a massive bat flip:

I’ll admit that the the lizard brain part of me looks at this and says, “heh, awesome.” But back in reality, this is the kind of thing that drives organizations crazy. You can say that if he can hit it shouldn’t matter, but in addition to the on-field evidence that says he needs additional seasoning before being ready to step in, we now have multiple incidents of this plus an arrest for going 97 miles per hour. Maturity counts as much or more than batting average does. He’s just not ready.

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