Having all but wrapped up a seventh straight National League West title, the Los Angeles Dodgers will soon shift their sights to the postseason in hopes of returning to the World Series for a third consecutive year.
Nearly at the midway point of August, the Dodgers will soon have even more use of their collection of depth when rosters expand in two weeks. A combination of prospects and injured players are expected to rejoin the team, allowing L.A. to strategically rest key players for the postseason.
However, only a few select players are expected to be promoted. “No, I don’t see that,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the possibility of more than a handful of players joining the team once active rosters expand in September.
“With Taylor, Hernandez, Gyorko, obviously Austin will be recalled, there’s guys we already have that have been here for quite some time. To kind of flood the clubhouse doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Jedd Gyorko are all nursing injuries and are expected to be good to go for September. The latter was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals at the July 31 trade deadline and is currently in the midst of a rehab assignment.
Austin Barnes was demoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City last month in favor of Will Smith. Barnes, after struggling mightily in the Majors, has found his groove for the club’s top Minor League affiliate, at one point producing a stretch five consecutive games with a home run.
In addition to the aforementioned names Roberts mentioned, David Freese is also expected to rejoin the Dodgers in September. The 36-year-old has been sidelined since the end of July with a hamstring strain.
In terms of potential additions that have not yet appeared at the Major League level this season, Gavin Lux stands out as the most obvious candidate. The Dodgers’ top prospect has torn the cover off the ball for Triple-A Oklahoma City and could get a look at some point in September.
Though, Roberts said it’s not yet been decided if Lux will be placed on the active roster or simply join the club to be exposed to a Major League environment.
Another potential option that the Dodgers could turn to is recent Minor League signee Tyler Thornburg. The former Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox setup man would need to be added to the 40-man roster.
Last year, the Dodgers were more selective with their September callups as opposed to 2017, when the organization aggressively promoted players from the Minor League ranks during the final month of the regular season.