After playing around with a few different looks, the Dodgers have finally settled on a fill-in shortstop.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, infielder Justin Sellers was told late Saturday night that he has cracked the Opening Day roster and will function as the Dodgers’ primary shortstop while Hanley Ramirez recovers from his thumb injury. Luis Cruz will remain at third base.
Ramirez tore a ligament in his right thumb earlier this month while playing third base for his native Dominican Republic in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He will be placed on the disabled list before the Dodgers’ season-opener against the Giants and probably won’t be ready to return to his position until late May or early June.
Sellers, 27, has batted .204/.283/.323 with two homers and 15 RBI in 55 major league games.
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.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.