The Dodgers on Wednesday placed Hanser Alberto on paternity leave and called up outfielder Stefen Romero, as expected, doubling down on right-handed outfielders in their 30s this week. But in doing so, the club also added a layer of definition to the return timetable for Edwin Ríos.
Ríos was transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster for Romero, who was on a minor league deal in Triple-A. For Ríos, who strained his hamstring on June 2, that means the earliest he could possibly be activated is August 2.
Dave Roberts the day after the injury called Ríos’ hamstring injury “significant” and said that “part of the tendon or the muscle came off the bone.” At the time, Roberts didn’t have an exact timetable for Ríos, only that he would miss at least “a handful of weeks.”
Now it will be about two handfuls.
For Romero, it’s his first time in the majors since 2016, the last of his three seasons with the Mariners. He spent the last five years in Japan, hitting 98 home runs during that time for Orix and Rakuten.
Romero, now 33, started the season on the injured list in Triple-A, and since his activation is hitting .270/.337/.461 with three home runs and eight doubles in 24 games for Oklahoma City.
Romero is a right-handed batter with power, just like Trayce Thompson, who was acquired Monday from Detroit and joined the Dodgers Tuesday in Cincinnati. Unlike Thompson, Romero is more limited to corner outfield. In Triple-A this year, Romero started 13 games in right field and four games in left.
The paternity list allows up to three days of leave, and sets up a potential reshaping of the bench once Alberto returns. Both Romero and Thompson are out of options, so if the Dodgers opt to keep both right-handers, along with the right-handed Alberto, that means one of the left-handed batters — Zach McKinstry or Eddy Alvarez, both of whom have options — could be sent down.
Alvarez starts in right field for the Dodgers on Wednesday, his fourth start there in the last five games with Mookie Betts out. Those are the first four professional games in right field for Alvarez, who also started seven games in left field this season for Oklahoma City.