Dodgers @ Phillies August 16, 2013: Bet Cliff Lee Wishes He Was a Dodger Now

August 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

citizensbankparkWell, this is a new one: a team so scared of the Dodgers that they fire their manager before they get swept by them. That’s perhaps not exactly what led to Charlie Manuel‘s dismissal in Philadelphia this afternoon, hours before his fading team opens a set with the Dodgers, though it sure is fun to think of it that way. I’ve never been Manuel’s biggest fan, but it’s hard to put a ton of the blame on him for losing with a roster that relied heavily on Michael Young & Delmon Young, and an aging Jimmy Rollins, and the beyond-foolish contracts given to Jonathan Papelbon and Ryan Howard. But then, you know my feelings on the impact of managers by now.

Really, it’s instructive to look at what’s happened to a once-great organization in Philadelphia and be extra-thankful for what the new ownership in Los Angeles has brought. Firing a manager the same day you’d planned to honor him for his 1,000th victory? That’s the kind of PR disaster that could usually be dreamed up only by the McCourts, or the Mets, anyway.

Dodgers
Phillies
LF
Crawford
SS
Rollins
CF
Puig
1B
Young
1B
Gonzalez
2B
Utley
SS
Ramirez
LF
Brown
RF
Van Slyke
1B
Ruf
3B
Uribe
3B
Asche
C
A.Ellis
1B
Mayberry
2B
M.Ellis
C
Ruiz
P
Greinke
P
Lee

Back to the Dodgers, while Brian Wilson is indeed in Philadelphia with the team — visual proof via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register — he won’t be activated today. Instead, he threw a simulated game that was roughly 1.1 innings, according to David Vassegh of Dodger Talk, and I think we all believe he’s going to join the active roster this weekend.

When he does, he won’t be taking the place of Dee Gordon, since the backup shortstop was optioned back to Triple-A Albuquerque today. Scott Van Slyke returns for the fourth time this season, and regardless of how you feel about Gordon, the fact that the team is willing to go down just to Nick Punto at shortstop says a lot about the confidence they have in the health of Hanley Ramirez. Van Slyke is a much better fit for the composition of this team’s bench, anyway, though he is starting in right field today. (Andre Ethier claims he’s ready to play after his calf injury, but no amount of health makes me want to see him against Cliff Lee.)

I imagine, then, that when Wilson is activated that means that Chris Withrow will get optioned back down in order to make room, since Carlos Marmol has been decent enough lately that DFA’ing him may not make sense. That will inevitably cause no small amount of consternation since Withrow has shown a lot, striking out 16 in his last 14.1 innings while allowing just a single earned run, but let’s keep in mind that rosters expand in two weeks and it’s not going to matter anyway.

Finally, some “old friend” news from New York: after following up a .127/.175/.169 line with the Dodgers by hitting .182/.224/.200 in 59 plate appearances for the Yankees, Luis Cruz was designated for assignment today. The Dodgers did just cut Ian Stewart loose from Triple-A so… no, Mike. Don’t even suggest it.

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