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Dodgers injuries: What moves can they make?

An overview of the Dodgers roster, amid several injuries and potential trips to the disabled list.

Jason O. Watson

As the Dodgers continue their series against the Giants this weekend at AT&T Park in San Francisco, the roster has many moving parts. The sheer volume of injuries may necessitate a series of roster moves, so what better time to take inventory.

First, here are the currently injured Dodgers on the active roster:

  • Mark Ellis: The second baseman missed his sixth straight game on Friday night, still sidelined by a strained right quad.
  • Hanley Ramirez: The shortstop, in just his third start since rejoining the team, injured his left hamstring and left early on Friday night in San Francisco. Manager Don Mattingly compare the injury to Matt Kemp's hamstring injury in 2012 that caused the center fielder to miss 51 of 53 games, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. "Sounds like he got it pretty good," Mattingly told reporters after Friday's game.
  • Adrian Gonzalez: The first baseman was a late scratch Friday with neck pain, apparently stemming from a collision with an umpire on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. After the game, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Gonzalez said, "I can't turn my neck right now."
  • Carl Crawford: The left fielder missed two games with right hamstring tightness and was held out of the lineup again on Friday, but he beat out an infield single in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter. How his hamstring feels on Saturday will be key.

That is four hurt players, which severely eats into Mattingly's bench. If the Dodgers do need to make moves, let's see just who is available down on the farm. Here are the position players left on the 40-man roster who aren't either on the active roster or already on the disabled list:

  • Tim Federowicz: All the catcher has done since his demotion to the minor leagues is hit, as he is 20-for-40 (.500) with eight extra-base hits for Triple-A Albuquerque. It seems unlikely Federowicz would get the call, though he did ride the pine as the third catcher for five games, including three games in Baltimore when the Dodgers had the option of using a designated hitter.
  • Alex Castellanos: The outfielder might be a logical candidate for a promotion, but not this weekend, as he is currently on the seven-day disabled list for the Isotopes with inflammation in his forearm. The first day he could play is Monday.
  • Dee Gordon: This would only happen if Ramirez were to miss a significant period of time, as the club is perfectly happy letting Gordon continue to develop while playing every day in Triple-A. But the Dodgers already passed over Gordon once at shortstop for the defense-first Justin Sellers, who is hitting .194/.270/.254. If the Dodgers are tired after a month of Sellers and want a shake-up, calling up Gordon would do it.
  • Elian Herrera: The 28-year-old often gets overlooked, and he is just hitting .240/.309/.330 in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League. But Herrera is on the 40-man and would satisfy the current roster fetish of collecting light-hitting utility men.
  • Yasiel Puig: Just about everyone is clamoring for the 22-year-old Cuban outfielder, who has two home runs in three games since returning from the disabled list in Double-A, and is hitting .311/.364/.639 with Chattanooga. But the only way Puig gets promoted is to play every day, and that's tied to Crawford's status. Even then, the Dodgers have long said they want Puig to develop some more before he ultimately comes up, so even if Crawford goes on the DL it's not a sure thing Puig would be on his way.
  • Scott Van Slyke: That brings us to the one option off the 40-man roster. Van Slyke was designated for assignment in December and cleared waivers, when every other major league team could have had him for free. Van Slyke responded as well as possible, getting into great shape and has been on fire in the early going, hitting .404/.479/.747 with eight doubles, eight home runs, 26 RBI and 27 runs scored in 27 games for Triple-A Albuquerque. Van Slyke has played exclusively first base for the Isotopes this season, but he has outfield experience and would be more likely to be put into a reserve role than Puig if the Dodgers simply wanted to upgrade their bench. Adding Van Slyke would require clearing a spot on the 40-man roster, but both Chad Billingsley and Shawn Tolleson have yet to be transferred to the 60-day DL.

Keep in mind, the Dodgers will also need to make a roster move to activate Chris Capuano on Monday, and since the Dodgers are currently carrying just 11 pitchers it will likely be a position player to go to make room for the left-hander.