clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dodgers notes: Edwin Ríos progressing, Kiké Hernández will start Game 1

New, comments

NLCS rosters are due Monday morning

Los Angeles Dodgers v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Postseason rosters are due at 10 a.m. in the city of Game 1, so for the NLCS that means the Dodgers and Braves will each be submitting 28 active players to MLB by 8 a.m. PT on Monday.

Paramount for the Dodgers are two concerns, both involving adding players.

Edwin Ríos was left off the NLDS roster against the Padres after suffering a groin injury, but has progressed to the point where he might be activated. He took ground balls and participated in workouts on Saturday and Sunday, and manager Dave Roberts said Ríos’ role would be limited, at least in the first few games of the NLCS if he’s added to the roster.

“He’s taking batting practice here shortly. Then he’s going to take at-bats live off some pitchers, so that will be a little bit more telling,” Roberts said. “But to think he’s anything more than a pinch-hitter right now in the first couple days would be aggressive.”

With potentially seven days in a row with a game, the Dodgers are also considering adding a 15th pitcher to help provide coverage if needed. A roster casualty if either a pitcher or Ríos is added could be Terrance Gore, the pinch-running specialist who hasn’t appeared in any of the Dodgers’ five postseason games despite being active.

“There’s a cost,” Roberts said. “Some are luxuries, some are to protect downside. That’s kind of fun to debate those situations.”

Third baseman Justin Turner said the Dodgers could benefit from playing seven games in seven days.

“I like the fact that it makes teams have to utilize their whole roster. You can’t just get through a playoff series with three starting pitchers,” Turner said. “It really exposes the depth of teams, and we’re a club that feels like we have a lot of depth.”

Notes

With left-handed starter Max Fried on the mound for the Braves, Kiké Hernández will start in Game 1 for the Dodgers, presumably at second base. Hernández hit just .217/.260/.413, a 79 wRC+ against southpaws in 2020, his worst numbers against left-handers in four years. In his career, Hernández has a 120 wRC+ against lefties, hitting .263/.345/.474. He’s 1-for-3 against Fried in his career.

“One key thing Kiké always brings is defense, and intensity and preparation. I still like him in the batter’s box, and he’s going to compete,” Roberts said.

Roberts said the Dodgers will continue to monitor the blister on Walker Buehler’s right hand, but believe he could be stretched out to five or six innings if he’s more efficient. Buehler threw 95 pitches in Game 1 of the NLDS, his third straight start lasting four innings since returning from the injured list.

“I do think Walker’s in the best place as far as that, that he’s been in the last few weeks,” Roberts said.