Lots of movement for the last-place Dodgers as they prepare to begin a three-game series tonight against the Padres.
Carl Crawford, who suffered a strained right hamstring on Saturday, has officially landed on the 15-day disabled list. The move clears a spot for right-hander Stephen Fife on the active roster. Fife will make the start tonight after left-hander Chris Capuano had to be scratched due to a strained triceps muscle.
Oh, but that’s not all. Yasiel Puig, who was called up from Double-A Chattanooga yesterday, will make his major league debut tonight in right field. And the Dodgers aren’t easing him into things. He’s batting leadoff. With Puig in right field, Andre Ethier will make his second start in center field in the past week.
Eric Stephen of the excellent True Blue LA notes that the last Dodger to start out of the leadoff spot in his MLB debut was Jose Offerman on August 19, 1990. He homered in his first at-bat. No pressure or anything.
LAS VEGAS — Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Padres have “genuine interest” in Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.
The Mets have been the most frequently mentioned suitor for Realmuto’s services, but over the weekend a report emerged that that their talks with Miami had lost some momentum, so perhaps that creates an opening for some other teams. For their part, the Padres have a loaded farm system which may interest the Marlins a great deal, even if they’ve publicly said they want major league talent for their best player. San Diego’s interest in Realmuto is obviously, of course. He’s probably the best catcher in the game at the moment. If, as some suspect, the Padres are poised to turn the corner into competitiveness in 2019, Realmuto could play a key role in that.
Realmuto, who will be 28 on Opening Day, hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 homers last year, which earned him both All-Star and Silver Slugger honors. He’s also one of the best defensive catchers in the game. It’d take a haul of talent to get him, but he is easily the most appealing position player on the trading block this offseason.