Left-handed pitcher Alex Wood and infielder-outfielder Kiké Hernández have been added to the Dodgers’ official roster for the National League Championship Series, replacing Austin Barnes and Charlie Culberson.
Wood gives the Dodgers an extra pitcher for the best-of-seven series, which could include games on three consecutive days Tuesday-Thursday in Los Angeles. In addition, there is a chance of rain this weekend in Chicago, though it looks most likely to come in between Games 1 and 2.
The departure of Barnes removes the luxury of a third catcher for the Dodgers, though in two of the five National League Division Series games, Dave Roberts already showed he was willing to go down to use his last backstop off the bench with multiple innings to go.
Hernández replaces Charlie Culberson, who went 0 for 7 in the NLDS. Hernández has a single, triple and homer in 12 career at-bats against Game 1 starter Jon Lester, with the homer being the only run the Dodgers scored against the Cub left-hander in 15 innings this year, as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. pointed out.
Here’s the lefty-righty breakdown of the Dodger roster:
Right-handed position players (5): Kiké Hernández, Howie Kendrick, Yasiel Puig, Carlos Ruiz, Justin Turner
Left-handed position players (7): Andre Ethier, Adrián González, Joc Pederson, Josh Reddick, Corey Seager, Andrew Toles, Chase Utley
Switch-hitters (1): Yasmani Grandal
Right-handed pitchers (6): Pedro Báez, Joe Blanton, Josh Fields, Kenley Jansen, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling
Left-handed pitchers (6): Luis Avilán, Grant Dayton, Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Alex Wood
In addition to Lester, the Cubs’ NLCS roster has four southpaw relievers: Aroldis Chapman, Mike Montgomery, Travis Wood and new addition Rob Zastryzny, who had a 1.13 ERA in 16 big-league innings in 2016, including 3 2/3 shutout innings against the Dodgers on August 27 in a 3-2 Cubs loss.
Zastryzny replaced infielder Tommy La Stella, who went 0 for 1 in the NLDS against the Giants.