Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants

By Jon Weisman

If you think the Dodgers’ 25-man roster only has 25 men, I’ve got some bad news to break to you about the Big Ten Conference.

Because the Dodgers have multiple useful players with options — enough so that they can afford to be without any one of them for the minimum 10 days they need to remain in the minor leagues after being sent down — their 25-man cap is about as meaningful as a speed limit.

Sure, for a given game it’s 25 men, but from day to day, it’s something else.

To call up an outfielder like Chris Heisey for perhaps no more than one day — nothing’s been finalized, but indications are that the Dodgers will need his roster spot for Thursday’s starting pitcher — tells you all you need to know about how seriously the Dodgers are taking roster flexibility and how much they intend to exploit match-ups whenever possible.

This also would appear to include Sunday’s game, for which the Dodgers’ starting pitcher against the Padres is listed in today’s press notes as TBD. Don’t ask me the rationale — maybe it’s as simple as Brett Anderson getting an extra day of rest, or a plan not to waste a groundball pitcher in a San Diego ballpark where a flyball pitcher can thrive. Suffice it to say, this big blue ship is being steered very carefully.

If you’re a minor-leaguer who came up to the Dodgers only to leave days later, you may be gone, but very much not forgotten.