The Dodgers just spent another $1.3 million to add Todd Coffey to what already appeared to be a full bullpen. It’s not a bad deal — worse relievers have signed for more money this winter — but I’m not sure what they felt they needed him for.
The Dodgers already have the following relievers on the 40-man roster. I’m including my 2012 ERA projections in the list:
1. Kenley Jansen – 2.66
2. Scott Elbert – 3.49
3. Matt Guerrier – 3.58
4. Javy Guerra – 3.67
5. Josh Lindblom – 3.68
6. Blake Hawksworth – 3.78
7. Mike MacDougal – 4.21
8. Ramon Troncoso – 4.32
9. Josh Wall – 6.11
That list doesn’t include John Grabow, who was supposed to be a strong candidate for a job after signing a minor league deal, or Ronald Belisario, who will serve a 25-game suspension for a testing positive for a drug of abuse.
Guerra, Jansen, Guerrier, MacDougal and Coffey should be pretty much guaranteed spots, leaving two openings for Elbert, Lindblom, Hawksworth, Troncoso and Grabow. Hawksworth is coming off offseason elbow surgery and might not be ready for Opening Day, so he’ll probably be stashed on the DL. Elbert can still likely be penciled in for one spot, but there’s now a good chance that Lindblom will be Triple-A bound.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.