PHOENIX — The Dodgers made another roster move on Wednesday morning on getaway day in Arizona, reassigning Charlie Culberson to minor league camp. In addition, Dave Roberts said the final decisions on the opening day 25-man roster would be made before Wednesday’s game against the Mariners.
Sending Culberson down brings major league camp to 40 players, which doesn’t include Yimi Garcia, who is on the 60-day disabled list. It does include the five players expected to open 2017 on the 10-day DL.
Culberson was in contention for the utility spot on the Dodgers bench, but was behind Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor for that infielder/outfielder hybrid role.
Culberson hit .299/.309/.388 in 34 games for the Dodgers last season, including making the opening day roster as a non-roster invitee, something he was trying to do again this season. Culberson’s biggest moment was his walk-off home run to clinch the division on Sept. 25, in Vin Scully’s final home game. He hit .250/.345/.333 in 20 games this spring.
He left camp Monday to be with his wife, who gave birth to their third child.
“He just had his baby,” manager Dave Roberts said. “To have him come all the way back from Anaheim didn’t make a whole lot of sense logistically.”
Similarly, relievers Josh Fields and Adam Liberatore, who were optioned on Tuesday night, won’t be joining the team for the Freeway Series.
“Decisions are tough, they are difficult. Each player has a case,” Roberts said. “To do right by them and let them know a little bit earlier is the right thing to do.”