By Jon Weisman
September 1, the date that active rosters can expand to as many as 40 players, has been in the Dodgers’ sightlines for some time — the seemingly perfect quirk in the schedule to serve a team that has depth in its pitching staff but not length.
Today, Dave Roberts told reporters that the Dodgers plan to activate Louis Coleman from the disabled list before Friday’s game (Thursday is actually an off day for Los Angeles, except for the Dodgers All-Access event) and also bring back reliever Casey Fien from the minors.
That would give the Dodgers a minimum of 14 pitchers, pending more possible additions as the month progresses. A recall of Luis Avilan and Josh Fields, who pitched recently for the Dodgers, would give them 16 arms. Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Josh Ravin are on the 15-day disabled list, and so with the flick of paperwork, the pitching staff could number as many as 20.
Hopes remain for the return from the 60-day disabled list of Clayton Kershaw to the starting rotation and Alex Wood to the bullpen, and then you possibly have 22 pitchers. (That seems like a lot.) In those cases, however, someone currently on the 40-man roster would have to be displaced.
That’s why, despite his strong finish at Triple-A Oklahoma City and highly regarded prospect status, Jose De Leon — who is not on the 40-man roster yet — might not see action for Los Angeles this year. It hasn’t been ruled out, but it’s predicated on the status of the aforementioned score of pitchers.