While the Dodgers are finishing up their regular season in Denver, the front office is pondering the postseason roster. The Dodgers still have several days before they have to make decisions but roster choices are looming as the NLDS begins on Friday October 6.
Most of the postseason roster is just going to be common sense stuff. Obviously you know guys like Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Austin Barnes etc, will all be there. There’s room for wiggle with a couple of spots in the bullpen and on the bench, but there shouldn’t be many surprises.
Unfortunately the Dodgers are trying extremely hard to screw it up. They’re going to over think this thing and it’ll look pretty stupid when Andre Ethier is sitting at home because of it. The Dodgers recently called-up minor league infielder Tim Locastro. They’re talking about putting him on the postseason roster. Seriously, they are…..(Stares at computer screen)
Who is Tim Locastro? That’s a good question. Let’s answer that before we get into the hilarious reasoning behind this. Locastro is a 25-year old career minor leaguer from Auburn, New York. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the thirteenth round of the 2013 draft. He bats right handed and plays multiple positions in the infield. The Dodgers picked him up in 2015 for three international bonus pool slots.
He’s a career .293 hitter in five minor league seasons and has hit 24 minor league home runs. He’s got a .372 OBP and was hitting .388 (40 for 103) at Oklahoma City this season. He’s hit well throughout his minor league career, but what got the Dodger’s attention were his 143 stolen bases.
The whole thing seems kind of ridiculous to me. Not because Locastro isn’t very good. He’s fine for what he is. He’s a late innings type of guy. Defensive replacement, pinch-hitting is probably his ceiling. Would he ever have reached the majors if the Dodgers hadn’t called him? Maybe, I don’t know.
The point is that the Dodger’s lineup is essentially a station-to-station base-running club. There’s not much speed. Oh sure a couple of guys can swipe a bag here or there. Most of them have the ability to go from first to third on a base hit. But that’s just not how their lineup was built. It’s not centered around base running. Power? Oh yes, plenty of it. But when the Dodger executives sat down to discuss the lineup speed and base running were probably never mentioned.
The whole point of this thing is to use Locastro as a pinch-runner in the postseason. They’re calling it a burner. So when someone is getting thrown out at the plate in the seventh inning of game 5 of the NLCS that’ll probably be Locastro. When a Dodger pinch-hitter is weakly grounding out with the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the bottom of the eighth inning of the NLDS, that will likely be Locastro too.
I’m sure that Dave Roberts is still having flashbacks of his famous stolen base in the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees that won the Red Sox the pennant, but good god man Locastro isn’t Ricky Henderson. Who are we fooling here?
“To have him active gives us the potential to have a burner off the bench in the postseason. He’s an option,” said Roberts, “He can artificially create situations to get on base, to steal a base, a defensive replacement. As we talked through the postseason and the 25th guy, just that option makes sense.”
I understand the appeal, but unless Locastro has Dee Gordon or Billy Hamilton speed then it seems like a waste of a roster spot. That isn’t the Dodger’s game. They play so much better when they play their game. You know what the Dodger’s game is. Home runs, walks and doubles. That’s the Dodger’s offense and it works. Let’s not tinker. The Dodgers are going to experiment with the postseason roster and oh boy is it going to be frustrating.
Don’t over think this thing Dodgers.