Dodgers @ Pirates June 14, 2013: So Long, Ramon Hernandez

June 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

So what exactly does it take for a veteran player to get a DFA’d at a position of thin depth in the Ned Colletti era? Luis Cruz hasn’t found out yet, but Ramon Hernandez has — the 15-year veteran was sent packing today as the Dodgers activated A.J. Ellis and somewhat surprisingly retained Tim Federowicz. Not that you need a ton of reason to cut loose a 37-year-old with a line of .208/.291/.438, but his miscues in Wednesday’s extra-inning loss alone — failing multiple times to get a bunt down and botching a solid throw to the plate, allowing Cody Ross to score — seem to have sealed his fate.

I can’t argue with that, because Hernandez was pretty poor, but it does leave the Dodgers precariously thin at catcher. J.R. Towles played just four games for the Isotopes before getting hurt — he’s due to have thumb surgery soon — and so the Albuquerque backstop duo these days is Matt Wallach & Dashenko Ricardo. That’s… well, that’s pretty bad. All it takes is one poorly placed foul tip or another weak oblique for Wallach or someone like him to be in the big leagues, and that does honestly make me wonder a little bit about the timing of letting Hernandez go. (There remains the chance that Hernandez ends up in ABQ once he gets through waivers, like Bobby Abreu did last year, but he was reportedly not willing to do so when Colorado wanted him to.) I can’t imagine that’s a situation that lasts long, though it’s not like upgrades are readily available; you’re probably looking at someone like Kelly Shoppach, recently cut by the Mariners.

Dodgers
Pirates
RF
Puig
LF
Presley
3B
Punto
C
Martin
1B
Gonzalez
CF
McCutchen
SS
Ramirez
1B
Jones
2B
M.Ellis
2B
Walker
CF
Ethier
3B
Alvarez
C
A.Ellis
RF
Snider
LF
Hairston
SS
Barmes
P
Fife
P
Locke

At least Ellis is back tonight, hitting seventh, but the news regarding Matt Kemp indicates that he’s at least another week away, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Fortunately, Yasiel Puig is back at the top and Hanley Ramirez is hitting cleanup. Today’s round of “wait, who is hitting fifth?” ends with Mark Ellis, who is there because… well, I have no idea. He’s never faced Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke before.

As for the aftermath of today’s suspensions, both J.P. Howell and Skip Schumaker appealed their two-game bans and will be available tonight. Ronald Belisario and manager Don Mattingly will both serve their suspensions tonight in Pittsburgh, so Trey Hillman will serve as the skipper. Remember that when we’re all screaming at Mattingly for horrible bunt calls or bullpen usage, okay?

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