Now that rosters have expanded, let the speculation on who gets the September call begin!
Pump the brakes a bit though, because unfortunately for the people who wish to see young players show their stuff: 1) the 40-man roster is full 2) guys on the 60-day DL are due to return 3) um … the team just traded away all of the top prospects that were close to contributing.
One of the primary issues is that Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands are still on the Dodgers 40-man roster, so it creates a bit of a mess in terms of roster spots. This is especially true because Ted Lilly (maybe) and Dee Gordon are set to return, which means guys will have to get designated just to fit them in. Perhaps Chad Billingsley, Kenley Jansen, or Scott Elbert could be placed on the 60-day DL, but that creates more holes, not less.
Either way, guys like Adam Kennedy, Juan Uribe, Matt Angle, Elian Herrera, and Stephen Fife might not want to get too comfortable on the 40-man, depending on what direction the team decides on. However, due to the roster crunch, those hoping for players not on the 40-man roster to get called — like John Ely, Tony Gwynn Jr., and Bobby Abreu — might be left disappointed.
Among those who I feel could help the team immediately are Tim Federowicz, Javy Guerra, Josh Wall, and Alex Castellanos. I already went over the reasons Guerra could contribute, as I believed sending him down to begin with was foolish. Wall, despite just an average year at AAA, has the raw stuff catch fire and help stabilize a suddenly shaky bullpen. Federowicz is not as good a hitter as his .296/.371/.465/.836 line in AAA would indicate, but he’s a good defender and is an upgrade over Matt Treanor right now. Castellanos could provide right-handed thump off the bench, as his .338/.431/.610/1.041 line in AAA would somewhat indicate. I’d rather see him get a chance than continue to run Juan Rivera out there, that’s for sure.
Other possibilities on the 40-man are Scott Van Slyke and Fife. Van Slyke could do much the same as Castellanos, but I have less confidence in his bat. Still, he can hardly be a worse pinch hitting option than Uribe or Kennedy or Nick Punto. I’m not sure Fife would fit in the bullpen, but if he’s not going to get designated then he could be called up to use as a long man.
Ely, Gwynn, and Abreu could all help, but I have to think they’re long shots due to the roster crunch reasons I mentioned earlier. Personally, I would have no problem designating about a half dozen players, but the team has somehow managed to resist doing that all year, so I don’t see why they would start now. With that said, if a starter goes down with injury, Ely deserves a chance after putting up a 3.20 ERA in 168.2 innings with solid peripherals in that league. Gwynn has put up a .304/.400/.393/.793 line at AAA and I really feel like he has to be added to the 40-man and called up somehow, if for no other reason than to pinch run. If Abreu’s healthy, he could probably do what Shane Victorino is producing in left right now sans the defense, so he could be a useful bench guy.
Assuming Billingsley, Jansen, and Elbert return from injury, and that Gordon will be back but not Lilly, I would call on Federowicz, Guerra, Wall, Castellanos, Van Slyke, Gwynn, and Abreu while designating Uribe, Angle, and Herrera.