D’Backs @ Dodgers May 8, 2013: The Three Catcher Society

May 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

dodger_stadium_openingday2013No need to worry, friends: Elian Herrera is starting in left field tonight. Our problems are solved!

Actually, there was some real news today, and that’s that catcher Tim Federowicz, currently tearing up the Pacific Coast League — I won’t even quote the numbers here because they’re so absurd and unsustainable — will join the team for the third time this season.

To make room for Federowicz, the Dodgers have sent down Ram— oh, it’s Justin Sellers. That’s the sticking point here for a lot of people, I think, because Ramon Hernandez is cooked on both sides of the ball, yet he remains as the quote-unquote “veteran catcher”. That causes some valid concern that Hernandez may yet see playing time that probably should go to Federowicz.

Diamondbacks
Dodgers
CF
Pollock
SS
Gordon
SS
Gregorius
2B
Punto
1B
Goldschmidt
CF
Kemp
LF
Ross
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Prado
C
A.Ellis
C
Nieves
RF
Ethier
RF
Parra
3B
Uribe
2B
Wilson
LF
Herrera
P
Miley
P
Kershaw

I’d have been perfectly fine with a Hernandez DFA, but I also don’t mind this as an alternative. It’s not as though Sellers was really providing the team with anything other than decent defense when he was playing, and with Dee Gordon in town, he’s been nailed to the bench. It’s been more than a week since we last saw Sellers in the lineup — that would be the Ted Lilly debacle in Colorado on April 29 — and on Friday it will have been two weeks since his last hit. Argue for Hernandez to go, argue for Sellers; it almost doesn’t matter, because they’re both far below replacement players.

If anything, this might help avoid the situation we saw last night, in which Don Mattingly didn’t want to use A.J. Ellis to hit for Hernandez in the eighth inning of a tie game. That’s the kind of choice that drives everyone insane, but very few managers are willing to risk going into what possibly might be an extra innings situation with only one catcher. That puts you just one poorly placed foul tip away from Skip Schumaker or Luis Cruz putting on the gear, and that’s a terrible place to be in. At least with a third catcher, that’s an unlikely scenario.

Like all of you, I’d probably have preferred Cruz to be the one getting the boot, but that was never likely; he’d have to be DFA’d while Sellers can be optioned, and it’s probably the right choice anyway because Cruz is a bit smoother with the glove. Still, I don’t think three catchers is a scenario that lasts all that long.

As for tonight, Gordon is leading off against a lefty, and that’s largely because Carl Crawford‘s right hamstring is still tight — to the point that this was originally supposed to be a day off for Andre Ethier until it was decided Crawford couldn’t go. So, wonderful.

At least, I suppose, there’s Clayton Kershaw?

Los Angeles Dodgers tickets

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