clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chris Heisey highlights Dodgers roster flexbility

New, comments
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the world of roster depth, using flexibility and options (sometimes literally) to maximize all the players available to the team. Chris Heisey is in San Francisco with the Dodgers, but he wasn't activated before Tuesday night's series opener against the Giants at AT&T Park.

It was first thought Heisey might be around as insurance, with both Yasiel Puig (left hamstring tightness) and Carl Crawford (stomach bug) sidelined of late. But that is not the case, and not just because both are in the starting lineup tonight.

Reading between the lines, it seems like Heisey's stay could be short, especially if the Dodgers choose to slot in a fifth starter in Thursday afternoon's series finale.

The club is currently carrying eight relief pitchers, which was going to be reduced to seven once the fifth starter was recalled anyway. By activating Heisey on Wednesday, that gives the club a chance to give Joc Pederson a day off, especially against ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

Pederson has played all but one inning in center field this season and, with all due respect to the other outfielders on the team, Heisey is the second best defensive center fielder on the 40-man roster.

None of these moves have happened yet, but here is my guess as to the next few days:

Wednesday: Heisey recalled, Adam Liberatore optioned (this certainly isn't fair to Liberatore, who has retired all nine batters faced; but life isn't always fair and he was the last one in in a bullpen that is pitching well from top to bottom)

Thursday: Mike Bolsinger recalled, Heisey optioned (Heisey at the moment has four years, 157 days of service time; getting optioned after just one day would leave him still 14 days shy of five years of service and the ability to refuse any assignment to the minors; but for now, he rides the back-and-forth)

The Dodgers don't necessarily have to stop there. They have a number of players to mix and match. If they wanted to, they could option Bolsinger after Thursday's start if only to carry an extra relief pitcher or position player for four days, before recalling another starter to pitch on April 28.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. The point is the Dodgers' new front office has fortified the roster with a lot of depth, and they seem intent on using it.