As we wait for official word on the status of Max Muncy and his right oblique, the Dodgers added some infield help on Saturday, selecting the contract of utility man Andy Burns from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Burns, a 30-year-old right-handed hitter, was hitting .330/.427/.598 with five home runs, 11 doubles, 18 walks, and seven stolen bases in 30 games in Triple-A. He started the bulk of his games at third base and second base, but also got starts in left field and right field for Oklahoma City, and played a lot of left field and second base as a non-roster invitee with the Dodgers this spring.
On Friday night, Burns hit two doubles, walked twice, stole two bases, scored twice, and drove in two runs in OKC’s win over El Paso. He has an active 10-game hitting streak in Triple-A, during which he is 17-for-33 with nine extra-base hits, hitting .515/.585/.970.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked that he can do. To sign a guy, a free agent sign, and to challenge him to perform, he’ll get an opportunity to follow through with that,” manager Dave Roberts said Saturday. “It feels good as an organization, and also credit goes to him for performing. He’s performed as well as anyone at Triple-A, and I’m just happy he got that opportunity.”
Burns’ only time in the majors came in 2016 with the Blue Jays, when he was 0-for-6 with a hit by pitch and two runs scored in 10 games, all in reserve.
He’ll wear number 29 with the Dodgers, the same number he wore during spring training.
“It’s been a five year journey to get back to this point. A lot of blood sweat and tears and challenges, and to see it come full circle is really special,” Burns said. “To experience that with my wife — we just had a newborn, she’s four months old — to have her up in the stands, it’s going to be special.”
Mitch White was optioned to Triple-A after pitching two innings on Friday night, giving the Dodgers 13 position players and 13 pitchers on the active roster, and a full bench. It is unknown how much time Max Muncy, who felt tightness in his right oblique area on Friday, and Cody Bellinger, who exited with left hamstring tightness, will miss, or if they will have to be placed on the injured list.
To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Dennis Santana was designated for assignment. Santana, who was optioned to Triple-A on May 27, had a 6.00 ERA and 4.88 FIP in 16 relief appearances this season, with more walks (11) than strikeouts (eight).
Of the 475 major league pitchers with at least 10 innings this season, Santana ranked 468th in strikeout rate (10.8 percent), and he’s one of only 10 pitchers with more walks than strikeouts.
“With Dennis it’s just strike throwing. It’s not about the stuff,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of value as far as potential roles, and stuff. But just the consistent strike throwing is something that we need to continue to see.”