COMMENTARY | Fans and followers can play armchair general manager, thinking they know better than those who do this for a living. But the Los Angeles Dodgers' front office is making me question their moves so far in 2013 season.
It's no secret: Ned Colletti hasn't been the best general manager in his tenure with the Dodgers. Hamstrung by Frank McCourt or not, he still hasn't made the best of moves.
The Dodgers are almost printing their own money, yet they're still making player personnel moves like they're the McCourt-run Dodgers.
Case and point: Mark Ellis was activated from the 15-day disabled list on May 19. Instead of designating either Luis Cruz or Ramon Hernandez for assignment, the Dodgers instead optioned Tim Federowicz back to Triple-A Albuquerque for the second time this season.
Federowicz won the backup catcher job out of spring training and is the best player for the job. But when the Dodgers acquired Hernandez for Aaron Harang in April, Colletti was back to his old ways.
"Regardless of what you think of Tim Federowicz & Ramon Hernandez, there is an obvious disconnect between Don Mattingly & Ned Colletti"
"With 3 catchers on roster last 9 games, Mattingly started Federowicz twice & used him as PH 5 times. Hernandez didn't play. At all."
It's clear Mattingly has zero confidence in Hernandez, yet he remains on the roster. It's clear Hernandez doesn't have it anymore. He's 1-for-22 this season. On some level, that's worse than Cruz.
Speaking of Cruz, there is no reason for him to still be on the active roster, especially since the Dodgers activated an infielder, essentially eliminating any chance Cruz playing regularly.
The Cruz experiment is officially over. He's 7-for-73 (all singles) this season. That translates to a .096 batting average. The term "hitting your weight" doesn't apply here, unless Cruz is an aspiring supermodel.
The Dodgers not only have better options, but have the financial ability to just let these two players go.
Trading Harang for Hernandez saved the club $2 million. Hernandez is due $3.2 million from this season. When the payroll is upward of $230 million, eating roughly 1 percent of the payroll isn't unthinkable.
And Cruz is making -- by comparison -- a paltry $505,000.
Cruz would easily pass through waivers and have a home with the Isotopes -- where he belongs anyway. It really doesn't matter what happens with Hernandez. He's a 37-year-old who's at the end of his career. He has no value.
The time for these types of puzzling roster decisions is over. The Dodgers are well-off enough to ditch a couple of vastly underperforming players like Hernandez and Cruz. Federowicz would replace Hernandez, while Elian Herrera, Justin Sellers or even a guy like Alfredo Amezaga would replace Cruz.
This is partly from frustration over the team's play, partly about logic. It is illogical to keep Hernandez and Cruz on the roster. They provide less-than-zero value. There's no room for any player like that on any team, let alone a team expected to contend for the National League pennant.
Dustin Nosler has followed the Dodgers from Northern California all his life. He's the founder of Feelin' Kinda Blue, a Dodger blog. He also co-hosts "Dugout Blues," a weekly Dodger podcast. Find him on Twitter @FeelinKindaBlue.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ramon Hernandez
- Luis Cruz
- Ned Colletti