Players coming -- Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier -- mean players going, and that’s where it gets interesting for the Dodgers.
These things are often more intriguing in theory than in actual execution, but in the midst of a four-day break, you take your intrigue where it can be found.
If Kemp is activated from the disabled list Friday as scheduled, then Scott Van Slyke is heading back to triple-A Albuquerque. But if Ethier is also activated Friday, then what?
It might mean the end of the Luis Cruz stint, but with Dee Gordon out for six weeks, somebody has to play shortstop. It could mean Elian Herrera has run his course, though despite his current slump (.137, 7 for 51), he’s proved to be a valuable addition and Don Mattingly likes him.
And then there are the more adventurous options, Adam Kennedy and ... Juan Uribe.
Uribe has been a major bust in his 1½ seasons with the Dodgers (.201, five homers, 41 RBIS), and offers absolutely no indication that things are about to change. He’s seldom been healthy and is currently battling a sore ankle; he’s also in an 0-for-27 skid.
But one other thing of note: He’s owed $12 million through next season. That’s a lot to swallow to keep Herrera. Kennedy is only owed approximately $400,000 on the rest of his one-year contract. Much easier to take.
The frustration with Uribe is so great among many team followers that they would just as soon cut bait. But on a team desperate for power, he still holds out faint hope. Plus, it should be noted, he is their best defensive third baseman, and he can play shortstop.
Of course, the easiest and most anticlimactic way out of the current dilemma is simply to place someone else on the DL when Ethier comes off. And with Uribe’s ankle, he’s a prime candidate.