Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wants to focus on the season, not his contract status
In his first year as the Dodgers’ manager, Dave Roberts was honored as National League manager of the year. In his second year, the Dodgers are on pace to shatter the franchise record for victories, for a franchise that started play in 1884.
Roberts has less job security than Andy Green.
In the fall of 2015, the Dodgers hired Roberts and the San Diego Padres hired Green. Each first-time manager got a three-year contract; the Dodgers also reserved a fourth-year option on Roberts’ contract.
On Sunday, before San Diego played the Dodgers, the Padres extended Green’s contract through 2021, saying they did not want him to enter next season with the uncertainty that it might be his last. The radically rebuilding Padres finished in last place in Green’s first season; they are in fourth place this season.
Roberts’ contract is not guaranteed beyond next season, but he said Sunday this was not the time to discuss that issue.
“The season is the focus,” Roberts said. “We don’t want anything to detract from our focus.”
Roberts said he hopes his Dodgers tenure extends beyond his current contract.
“This is my dream job,” he said.
Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, declined to discuss whether the team might extend Roberts’ contract this winter, saying any conversations about negotiations should remain private.
“We have a really good working relationship and look forward to continuing that relationship as far as we can see out,” Friedman said.
Friedman said Roberts has done “a tremendous job” and warrants a second consecutive manager of the year award.
On the last day of July, the Dodgers added Yu Darvish to their starting rotation. By the last day of August, they hope to welcome back Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw is scheduled to throw a simulated game Wednesday. Then, while the Dodgers are out of town, he is expected to go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment that Roberts said “might be” for only one game.
Whether Kershaw requires one minor league start or two, his return from a lower back strain would fit within the original window of four to six weeks.
In his first appearance in nine days, reliever Luis Avilan pitched a scoreless inning. Avilan had been on the paternity list so he could join his wife for the birth of their son, Sebastian.
Avilan said he was not tired.
“I’m getting plenty of sleep,” he said. “He’s in Miami with my family.
“You should ask my wife. She might have a different opinion.”
The Dodgers activated reliever Chris Hatcher and optioned Kyle Farmer to triple-A Oklahoma City.
When they called up Farmer last month, they listed his position as “catcher.” When they sent him back Sunday, they listed his position as “catcher/infielder.” Roberts said Farmer would play third base, first base and catcher and indicated he would return when rosters expand in September.
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin
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