Dodgers vs. Cubs pregame notes: Rosters expand Sunday

Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

A broad look at potential moves for the Dodgers heading into the weekend, with roster limits expanding on Sunday, Sept. 1.

After the Dodgers host the Cubs on Wednesday's daytime finale at Dodger Stadium, there are only two games until roster limits expand from 25 to 40, and three days left before being able to acquire players who passed through waivers for them to be eligible for the postseason.

The season ends for Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday, but the Dodgers plan to add at least a few players on Sunday, Sept. 1, when rosters expand. The Dodgers currently have 13 pitchers and 12 position players on the active roster, so the chances of Scott Van Slyke and Dee Gordon joining the team sooner rather than later are high.

"We have ideas, but I don't want to go throwing names out yet. There will be some guys who come up right away," Mattingly said. "There are some guys we'd like. We're still playing short. We've been a guy down. It would be nice to get back to have an extra guy to hit or an extra guy to run."

A third catcher is always a September must, so look for Drew Butera to be in Los Angeles on Sunday as well.

One player who won't be joining the Dodgers on Sunday, or likely any time soon, is reliever Jose Dominguez, who has been on the disabled list since July 23 with a left quad strain. His injury hasn't healed as quickly as the Dodgers had hoped, and he had a second MRI as a precaution. Nothing new showed up in the MRI and there is no surgery planned, but Dominguez simply isn't yet ready to be activated.

"There hasn't been a whole lot of moving forward," Mattingly said of Dominguez. "He may have played catch a few times, but any time he tried to get extended out the leg has kept him from doing it."

Stephen Fife is tentatively scheduled to start for Albuquerque on Friday, and will be among the Dodgers' call-ups. It was originally thought to have Fife make a spot start to give the rest of the Dodgers' rotation an extra day off, but that will be accomplished, at least for now, by Thursday's off day.

"We have looked at a lot of different scenarios. There are no definite plans for Stephen at any certain date to be pitching," Mattingly said. "I know he's got another minor league start before the first, then he'll be here."

Mattingly said he won't make any rotation changes with Thursday's off day, meaning Hyun-jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and Zack Greinke will start the weekend series against the Padres.

The Dodgers could also add a player via trade by Saturday night's deadline to be eligible for postseason play. Mattingly said he has talked with general manager Ned Colletti about different scenarios and some potential names have come up, but also that it seemed like several players have been claimed by other teams, limiting potential trades.

Notes

  • Adrian Gonzalez, who leads the Dodgers with 128 games played, was given the day off on Wednesday, as it sounds like he fell victim to the cold running through the Dodgers clubhouse. "We had to give Adrian a day today. I could see it yesterday that he was dragging pretty good," Mattingly said. "I don't think he's feeling too great."
  • With Gonzalez out of the lineup, Hanley Ramirez is hitting third instead of cleanup. Mattingly switched Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig at the top of the order, with Puig batting leadoff. Going forward, Mattingly said he would consider starting Puig-Crawford-Ramirez-Gonzalez against left-handed pitchers to keep alternating lefties and righties.
  • Clayton Kershaw is feeling fine after getting hit in the left shin on Tuesday night. Mattingly said Kershaw didn't even require ice on his leg.
  • The Time Warner Cable dispute with CBS, which affects Dodgers' games on KCAL, has hit close to home. Mattingly said his wife was unable to watch Tuesday night's loss to the Cubs. Mark Rogondino of Prime Ticket chimed in with this gem: "If there was a game to miss, it would have been yesterday, right?"
  • There is no update on Matt Kemp, who ran the bases for the first time on Tuesday and continued to do drills on Wednesday. Mattingly was asked how Kemp felt after Tuesday and Kemp happened to be within earshot and interrupted, "I feel great, man."

    Kemp remains on track for rehab games with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, but it is simply a matter of when. It could be as early as Thursday, but the Quakes end their regular season on Monday. Kemp could also play for Rancho Cucamonga during the California League playoffs if they qualify. But no matter how many games are available for Kemp to play, the Dodgers won't rush him back.

    "Even though time is running out, we still have to make sure he gets right before he gets out there," Mattingly said.

Game info

Time: 12:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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