Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

If the Dodgers make the playoffs …

The more I look at this, the more I realize that the Michael Young acquisition pushes Scott Van Slyke off the Dodgers’ potential postseason 25-man roster.

Obviously, things can change on the fringes, and we’re going to knock on wood all month. But for the time being, here’s how it shapes up.

Starters (4)
Clayton Kershaw
Zack Greinke
Hyun-Jin Ryu
Ricky Nolasco

Relievers (7)
Kenley Jansen
Paco Rodriguez
Brian Wilson
Ronald Belisario
J.P. Howell
Chris Withrow
Brandon League or Carlos Marmol

Starting lineup (8)
A.J. Ellis
Adrian Gonzalez
Mark Ellis
Hanley Ramirez
Juan Uribe
Carl Crawford
Andre Ethier
Yasiel Puig

Bench (6)
Matt Kemp (not saying Kemp won’t start – but one of the big four outfielders must go here.)
Tim Federowicz
Michael Young
Nick Punto
Skip Schumaker
Jerry Hairston Jr. or Scott Van Slyke


That’s 50! Dodgers 50-13 since June 22 with 2-1 victory


Puig missed the cutoff man … and saved the Dodgers


  1. J.R.

    OH CRAP. Jerry really hasn’t had a good season but he fits the GRIT PVL profile. SVS is in deep KIMCHI.

  2. ASW1

    How many AB’s does SVS even have since the break? since 6-22?

    • In the majors, Van Slyke has 24 plate appearances with a .750 OPS since the ASB. Hairston has 61 plate appearances with a .456 OPS since the break.

  3. KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers10m
    To make room on the 40-man roster for Michael Young, the #Dodgers transferred Josh Beckett to the 60-day disabled list.

  4. Tonight was Uribe’s 81st start of the season (out of 135 possible). Uribe started 23 of the Dodgers’ 29 games in August.

  5. The Dodgers finish August with a 2.07 team ERA for the month.

  6. foul tip

    Phillies nation says, in part, about Young trade.

    “Young joins the 79-55, first-place Dodgers and could siphon most of the third base playing time away from Juan Uribe, Nick Punto, Luis Cruz, and Jerry Hairston and become the Dodgers’ regular third baseman.”

    Doubtful on the PT and regular 3B. It seems clear the idea is to add a good bat to the bench.

    But 100% correct that he will get ALL Luis Cruz’s PT.

  7. Kenley Jansen faced 42 batters in August: 24 struck out, five reached base, one scored.

  8. “It’s clear Donnie views (Young) as a backup, even if he’ll be an oft-used backup.” – Tony Jackson

  9. Mark Kaminsky

    I’m taking Capuano over Withrow come playoff time

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Tonight sure gave Donnie & Honey something good to think about!

  10. Thought tonight was gonna be another well pitched game wasted, but all my sweating in the stands was rewarded! An exciting comeback to see in person, and Puig’s arm is even more impressive in real life. Also got my Kershaw jersey so it was a good night indeed.

  11. Jibin Daniel Park

    I’m thinking Dee Gordon will possibly leapfrog both Hairston and Van Slyke,,,,

    • John_from_Aus

      I think one of Hairston or Van Slyke needs to stay in order to provide cover for 1st base

      • Jibin Daniel Park

        In what case would Adrian come out of a game, though? Probably if we need a pinch-runner!

      • foul tip

        I think Young has played some 1st.

        He’s had multiple hits 5 of his last 6 games. But….

        From Crashburn Alley, a Phils blog, which also has some, um, interesting GIFs of him trying to play 3B. (At least he’s probably gritty)–

        “Young goes to the Dodgers ranking among the 20-least valuable players in baseball, according to Baseball Reference. His -1.1 Wins Above Replacement follows up last year’s -2.0 performance, making him the second-least valuable player since the start of the 2012 season.”

        Also points out that he’s been a GIDP machine of historic note.

    • I don’t see this happening at all. Dee is basically an awesome pinch runner right now. There’s not often space for that on playoff roster when you have all these other flex guys who can do more.

      We’ll see, a lot can happen still before playoffs. But I think it’ll either be YOung, unless he’s either awful or gets hurt, or Hairston. SVS next in line for either after that.

  12. Midwest Fan

    Sounds like Ned is playing the veteran over rookie game for the playoffs, and who doesn’t? It’s the safe move. Reviewing Young’s numbers though, SVS stacks up very well against him as an offensive threat. It’s a shame because if anyone deserving to be on the team this year has been used as a tool, it’s SVS. Looks like it will happen one more time…

  13. DXMachina

    I would keep Capuano for the bullpen over either Marmol or League.

    • package206

      Me Too.

    • foul tip

      Comparing their strengths, when right Marmol is one of the game’s dominant relievers, as his historical K to IP ratio shows.

      But he’s gotta be able to find home plate with both hands, a full moon, radar, and whatever else it takes. Lately he’s pretty much been able to, likely thanks to Honey.

      I don’t wish anyone bad. But I don’t want to see League at all, except in another uniform.

      Cappy could go multiple in a long role if needed, which the Dodgers really haven’t had.
      He has relieved before. But not in a while.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Anyone that low in the pen wouldn’t even appear unless there is a blow out of some sort, so having an extra LOOGY not a bad idea.

  14. SaMoDodger

    Young is really the same player as Jerry Hairston Jr., but with a better pedigree, so it’s hard to see why you’d need both of them. However, either one can fill in for Adrian late in the game after a pinch runner.

    In the book of Ned, however, PVL is the key to pinch-hitting success, so I would guess that Young or Hairston would both get the nod over Van Slyke, who deserves it based on the numbers alone.

    This is a true crapshoot either way, since the only thing anyone will remember is whether a bench player got a pinch hit or not. Even Mark Loretta and his .585 OPS got a game-winning hit in the 2009 NLDS. If Young does likewise, the Dodgers will be plenty happy with this move.

  15. Bob_Hendley

    I recall the great debate of 2008 on whether to have Pee Wee Young or Ozuna be the 25th. Ozuna’s utility won out, his futility being ignored. He appeared once as a PH in the final game of the NLCS.

  16. SaMoDodger

    By the way, JHJr. rakes in the playoffs.

    2 Yrs (5 Series).362 .396 .489 .886

    You can’t teach that kind of clutchiness.

    • ASW1

      Some players have proven to shine in the high pressure postseason, some have yet to even get a single AB in the playoffs – hmmmmm, which to choose…

  17. SaMoDodger

    Were all of the Kershaw jerseys last night XLs? My wife got an XL that’s much too big for her, and would love to trade for a smaller size if anybody got one.

  18. leekfink

    The Dodgers COULD go with 6 relievers, as long as one of them was a long/swing man (Capuano being the most likely), making room for Van Slyke. Capuano, Withrow, Wilson, League, and Marmol are all competing for 2 or 3 slots. But otherwise, yes, Young displaces Van Slyke. I don’t see Van Slyke making the roster over Hairston.

    The recent moves however seem to me a lot more about September. The balance is, once we are able to wrap up the division (it’s not there yet, but close), we still want to win games in an effort to get the home field advantage, but we want to rest key guys in anticipation of the playoffs. And a lineup of Hairston at 1B, Punto at 2B, Gordon at SS, Young at 3B, SVS in LF, Kemp in CF, and Schumaker in RF, with FedEx behind the plate and Volquez on the Hill (with Wilson set to close) would be a decent enough team against some of our divisional opponents, while using none of the regulars available on August 31. And while I don’t actually expect Mattingly to run that lineup out on any given day, it’s clear that we have enough pieces to continue to battle for the top seed even while giving some key guys a breather.

    And while I should not that I have never been one for fetishizing PVL for the starting roles, I do think it makes sense for bench spots on a playoff roster. Knowing how to prepare, how to come in cold, and in big situations are the types of things that are tougher than just letting the talent take over. But Van Slyke still has a month to earn his way on to the roster.

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