Los Angeles Dodgers: Full Scouting Report on Each September Call-Up
The day has finally come: Joc Pederson is wearing Dodger blue. He is joined in Los Angeles by several other players, but no 2014 debut has been as eagerly anticipated as that of the outfielder.
Will he have the biggest impact in September and October, though? Probably not. That honor will likely go to one of the relievers, unless Carl Crawford gets hurt between now and October and the Dodgers decide Pederson is the best option in left field.
On September 1, only five Dodgers were recalled: Pederson, Alex Guerrero, Tim Federowicz, Yimi Garcia and Chris Perez.
However, due to a quirky rule, Miguel Rojas, Erisbel Arruebarrena and Carlos Frias had to wait and were brought up the next day.
A scouting report on each call-up will follow. The names are sorted in alphabetical order, not any logical expectation of how much I believe they will contribute.
Note: All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.
Erisbel Arruebarrena, SS
Like many of the names on this list, Arruebarrena is a familiar face to Dodger fans. Over the course of the season, he has played in 12 games—mainly when Hanley Ramirez was on the disabled list.
Arruebarrena’s strength is his glove—scouting reports from when he was signed discuss his defensive chops, and he’s done nothing thus far to disprove that notion. Obviously, then, he struggles to hit; if he didn’t, he’d be an All-Star.
His role in September will be as a defensive replacement and occasional starter when Ramirez needs rest.
We will probably see some combination of him or Miguel Rojas quite frequently as the Dodgers hope to ensure the health of one of their key hitters.
Tim Federowicz, C
Similarly to Arruebarrena, Federowicz has made occasional appearances in the major leagues this year. He, too, is an all-glove, no-hit backup. In his limited appearances, he was truly horrible at the plate.
He should see some time on the field in September simply because he’s a catcher, but don’t expect much. He’ll be fine behind the plate but bad at bat; however, if he gets hot, he could supplant Drew Butera as the backup catcher in October.
Carlos Frias, RHP
A young pitcher who made his big league debut this year, Frias will likely be a key member of the September roster but not necessarily the October one.
He is expected to be a temporary member of the rotation, but he probably isn’t in the mix for a playoff spot unless he is absolutely lights out.
Frias’ minor league numbers aren’t excellent. His career 7.3 strikeouts per nine and 3.4 walks per nine certainly leave a bit to be desired, although his walk numbers have decreased each of the last three years.
He isn’t a strikeout machine, though, so expectations should be lower.
Yimi Garcia, RHP
Garcia is a high-strikeout reliever who has been excellent each of the last two years. His 3.10 ERA in Albuquerque in 2014 is actually the worse of the two, and he has had a double-digit strikeout rate each season as well.
It is very easy to see a scenario in which Garcia is relevant in October. If he pitches as well in the big leagues as he did in the minors, he could easily replace a veteran and make the 25-man playoff roster.
Garcia is certainly worth paying attention to.
Alex Guerrero, UTIL
Fans want Guerrero to play shortstop, but the evidence suggests that the Dodgers don’t think that it is a legitimate option. In 78 games across all levels in the minor leagues, the Cuban import played a grand total of seven games at short.
He spent much of his time at second base, although his recent appearances in left field suggest that the Dodgers want him to be of some utility value.
Realistically, though, he’s being brought up for his bat. He was signed for his ability to hit and with the hope that he would develop into a passable second baseman. If he provides a valuable bench bat, he could earn a spot on the playoff roster.
Joc Pederson, CF
The prodigal son has finally arrived! After tearing up Triple-A—to the tune of a .303/.435/.582 slash line—and amid months of rumors that he would be up to play center field, Pederson is finally in the big leagues.
Projecting his impact is difficult. He is an offensive-minded player, obviously, so it’s not as if he’s realistically going to be a pure defensive replacement.
However, seeing as how he made his big league debut on September 1, it’s not as if we have a wealth of data about what kind of hitter he’ll be in the majors. If he succeeds, we could see a lot more of him than would initially be thought.
However, with Carl Crawford hitting and having apparently solidified the left field spot, it’s difficult to see a path to regular playing time.
Chris Perez, RHP
Perez is not a good relief pitcher anymore, but he was a big leaguer, so the Dodgers have called him up after his rehab assignment where he was recovering from an ankle injury.
He has simply had a terrible year. His ERA is 4.95, and that doesn’t even do him justice—his FIP is 5.60, which means he’s actually gotten slightly lucky.
His strikeout rate is 5 percentage points below his career level, and his walk rate is the highest it’s ever been.
In a perfect world, Perez is simply a mop-up option. However, there is a horrifying scenario in which he pitches just well enough to earn Don Mattingly’s trust, and then he makes the postseason roster.
Miguel Rojas, SS
Rojas profiles in much the same way as does Arruebarrena. He is a defense-first shortstop, and he will likely be used to spell Hanley Ramirez or as a defensive replacement at second or third.
It’s important to have those backups—and particularly so given Ramirez’s injury history—but if all goes according to plan, Rojas won’t get many important at-bats.