The Dodgers are dealing with numerous injuries heading into their series finale with the Rockies on Sunday. First and foremost, starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu has a sore foot from taking a comebacker off his left foot in his shutout win over the Angels on Tuesday.
Ryu had his foot heavily wrapped after the game on Tuesday and had x-rays that were negative later in the week. Prior to Saturday's game, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported Ryu's Sunday status as questionable, and after the game things didn't sound any better.
Hyun-Jin Ryu sounds like he won't be starting Sunday. The team would need to get Matt Magill into Denver. No club confirmation yet.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) June 2, 2013
In addition Ryu told reporters after the game, "Personally, I never want to take the mound and put my team in jeopardy. ... I wouldn't want to step out there unless I'm 100 percent," per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
The team will likely need to recall Matt Magill to make Sunday's start, but they have to make a corresponding move to make room on the roster. This is where it gets tricky, as the Dodgers have a number of moves coming on the horizon as well as a couple of variables.
The Dodgers have three catchers on the roster, so the obvious move would be to jettison one. Normally that would mean simply optioning Tim Federowicz to Triple-A, but that will depend on the health of A.J. Ellis, who has missed the last three games with an oblique injury. If Ellis is healthy, then Federowicz can be optioned. If he's not healthy, the team might have to place Ellis on the disabled list.
The Dodgers also need to see the status of Carl Crawford, who left Saturday's game after hitting a pair of doubles. The team called the injury to their left fielder a left hamstring cramp rather than a strain, so a disabled list stint might be avoided, but that might not be known until Sunday.
The Dodgers already needed an outfielder to replace Matt Kemp before Crawford got hurt, but before jumping on board the "woo hoo, Yasiel Puig AND Joc Pederson" train let's take a step back for a moment.
It's likely Puig will be added by Monday. If not Puig, it will be someone. If the Dodgers were worried about having a true center fielder like non-roster Triple-A options Tony Gwynn Jr. or Matt Angle, they would already be with the big club. If the Dodgers are okay with Skip Schumaker and Andre Ethier patrolling center field in spacious Coors Field, they are okay with just about anything.
While I still think Puig will be the outfielder to join the Dodgers, it doesn't have to be Sunday, even with Crawford likely out for the series finale. Now, if Crawford needs to go on the disabled list, then by all means bring up Puig or the outfielder of choice on Sunday. But short of that, waiting another day could be necessary.
Assuming Ryu won't miss more than one start, the team can option Magill back to the minors after his Sunday spot start. That opens the spot for the new outfielder.
There is also the matter of what move to make when Hanley Ramirez returns from his rehab assignment. Ramirez is batting second as the designated hitter for the Quakes on Saturday night, and could be ready to return as soon as Monday. That might mark the end of Luis Cruz, who is still hitting just .116/.154/.151 despite a recent relatively hot streak. Then again, Cruz was hit on the hand by a pitch on Friday, so instead of DFA he could see a DL stint:
My hand is ok good night twitter.com/CochitoCruz/st…— luis cruz (@CochitoCruz) June 1, 2013
But while speculating is fun, it usually takes a back seat in accuracy to the answer of "someone else will be hurt by then." The problem is, the Dodgers seem to be running out of players who aren't already hurt.
The next few days figure to be busy for the Dodgers.