Dodgers' losing streak ends as roster machinations continue

Dodgers beat San Diego, 3-0, behind Zack Greinke to stop skid at three games, but Yasiel Puig is injured

As Yasiel Puig extended his right leg in a futile attempt to beat a throw to first base in the sixth inning of a 3-0 victory over the San Diego Padres Friday night, he felt something in his left hamstring.

Puig limped as he retreated to the visiting dugout at Petco Park and was replaced by Andre Ethier in right field in the bottom of the inning. Puig was listed by the Dodgers as day-to-day.

Perhaps this was only something minor, as was the case when Puig missed four games in a five-game stretch last week because of soreness in the same hamstring. Or, perhaps, Puig could be headed to the 15-day disabled list, which would make this episode a precursor to yet another roster move for the Dodgers.

Few teams have been busier in the first two-plus weeks of the season than the Dodgers, whose furious activity from the winter has continued in April.

Most of their moves have been relatively insignificant. Rather than, say, replace $15-million third baseman Juan Uribe in their lineup with $28-million reserve Alex Guerrero, the team's new front office has worked mostly on the margins.

The latest move by Andrew Friedman, the team's president of baseball operations, was to promote right-hander Sergio Santos from triple-A Oklahoma City.

Santos became the seventh player to step into the 25th and final roster spot, taking the place of right-hander Mike Bolsinger, who was optioned to triple-A Oklahoma City a day after starting against the San Francisco Giants.

Manager Don Mattingly tried to make the case that what looks like chaos is, in fact, something that was carefully designed.

"There's not really a whole lot that's happened that hasn't been part of kind of a plan from the very beginning," Mattingly said.

Santos' roster spot was occupied by a different player in each of the three days of the series in San Francisco: left-hander Adam Liberatore on Tuesday, outfielder Chris Heisey on Wednesday and Bolsinger on Thursday.

The moves resulted in zero wins at AT&T Park; the Dodgers were swept in a three-game series.

Nonetheless, more transactions are coming soon.

With Hyun-Jin Ryu sidelined indefinitely because of shoulder inflammation, the Dodgers will promote another pitcher from triple A to start a game this weekend, most likely for the series finale against the Padres on Sunday. Doing so will allow Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw to make their starts next week on five days' rest, rather than four.

Friedman put the team in position to make these kinds of maneuvers by stockpiling depth over the winter.

Santos was signed to a minor league contract in January. Bolsinger was acquired in a trade with Arizona after he was designated for assignment. Heisey was added in a minor trade with Cincinnati. Liberatore was the supplemental part of a trade in which the Dodgers acquired Joel Peralta from Tampa Bay.

Bolsinger, Heisey and Liberatore are back in Oklahoma City, where the roster includes other players with major league experience such as infielder Darwin Barney, left-hander David Huff and right-handers Joe Wieland and Scott Baker.

As much depth as the Dodgers already have, Friedman and top lieutenant Farhan Zaidi continue to race up and down the bargain aisles. Friedman said there remains an incentive to add players, as some veterans at triple A have the contractual right to become free agents in the coming weeks unless they are added to the major league roster.

Earlier in the week, the Dodgers purchased left-hander Xavier Cedeno from the Washington Nationals. Friedman said at the time Cedeno would be on the 25-man roster. On Friday, to make room for Santos on the 40-man roster, Cedeno was designated for assignment.

Why acquire a player and immediately designate him for assignment? If Cedeno clears waivers, the team can have him in its system without his taking a roster spot.

"It's one of those things that feels like a footnote at the time but you could wake up one day in the middle of the year and one of these guys is helping us in a meaningful way," Friedman said.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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