The Dodgers still have a tall order in front of them, needing to beat the Padres twice to advance to the NLDS. But, should Los Angeles advance to the next round, another left-hander is potentially in the mix.
Victor González missed all season on the injured list and has arthroscopic elbow surgery in April. He pitched 13 games on a minor league rehab assignment, a dozen of those with Triple-A Oklahoma City in August and September, but ran out of time to pitch in the majors. González is among the group of Dodgers at the “stay hot” camp at Camelback Ranch in Arizona, after pitching in simulated games in the last week at Dodger Stadium.
“Victor is doing great. He threw last week to our guys. He was fantastic,” manager Dave Roberts told reporters Friday in San Diego. “If we are fortunate enough to move on, he’ll be in the conversation for the next round.”
The Dodgers are only carrying one left-handed true reliever during the NLDS in Alex Vesia, though they also have Andrew Heaney available in a bulk role. But “in the conversation” for González is one thing. Whether he’s picked over Caleb Ferguson or David Price is another.
But the Dodgers are at least prepared for it should González tickle their fancy. Because the left-hander is on the 60-day injured list, adding him to the roster would require a corresponding move to make room on the 40-man roster.
On the final day of the regular season, the Dodgers called up shortstop Jake Amaya and simultaneously placed him on the 60-day injured list. That made room to select the contract of Beau Burrows, a 25-year-old who had a 7.18 ERA and 6.21 FIP in 100 innings for Oklahoma City this season.
It might be too cynical to think that Burrows was added just to give the Dodgers someone to jettison in lieu of others on the fringes of the 40-man roster. Maybe they saw something they liked in Burrows, a former first-round pick who would have been a free agent in November, and still has an option year left.
I guess we won’t find out unless the Dodgers decide to add González to the roster.