The Dodgers made two alterations to their 25-man roster for the National League Championship Series against the Cubs, adding utility man Enrique Hernandez and pitcher Alex Wood, while removing infielder Charlie Culberson and catcher Austin Barnes.
Hernandez joins the club because, in years before 2016, he hit well against left-handed pitchers. Hernandez is expected to start on Saturday in Game 1 against Jon Lester. Hernandez hit a home run off Lester earlier this season.
The Dodgers carried 12 pitchers during the five-game divisional series against Washington. But now playing a seven-game format, the team felt it needed to add another arm to the mix. That is Wood, who pitched well during a relief audition in September. He missed most of the summer because of elbow surgery.
Barnes played a pivotal role in the Game 5 victory over Washington, scoring from second base as a pinch runner for Yasmani Grandal. The Dodgers used Barnes as insurance if they wanted to send Carlos Ruiz into pinch-hitting situations. Ruiz provided two crucial hits against the Nationals.
But a three-catcher roster is unusual, and a luxury the team apparently feels it can no longer afford. Ruiz could still see some action against the Cubs. He could start in Saturday's Game 1 behind the plate with Kenta Maeda.