The Dodgers optioned shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday to make room for Hanley Ramirez, who had been on the disabled list because of an oblique-muscle injury. Ramirez, the starting shortstop, was set to bat fifth in Sunday's lineup against the New York Mets.
Arruebarrena is batting .280 with the big-league club in 11 games, and went 1-3 with two runs scored in the Dodgers’ win over the Mets on Saturday. His move to Rancho Cucamonga probably means the Dodgers will call him back up next week when active rosters expand to 40 players on Sept. 1.
His demotion had more to do with injuries to other players than with his own play. Starting third baseman Juan Uribe remains on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, but the other candidate for demotion, Miguel Rojas, can play third base, which increases his value for the time being.
“It was really close between those two guys, and really, the determining factor in today’s move is Juan Uribe,” Manager Don Mattingly said before the game. “Erisbel has played a little bit of third base, but he hasn’t played a lot, and we’re probably more comfortable with Rojas at third if he has to play there. If Juan Uribe is healthier, it could have been a different decision, but right now he’s on the disabled list, so third base was a factor.”
The Cuban-born Arruebarrena signed with the Dodgers in May, and will almost certainly rejoin the club when rosters expand.
“Today’s move is obviously just a few day move,” Mattingly said, “because we have September coming."
Uribe is eligible to come off of the disabled list Aug. 31, and Mattingly expressed confidence he will be back around that time.
“Nothing has gone backwards, so we feel pretty good,” the manager said. “We felt like we were a little bit cautious with him. He’s been able to do a lot of things, running and a lot of baseball work, so if we aren’t on that day we feel like we’re pretty close to it.”