The Dodgers left utilityman Enrique Hernandez off their roster for the NLDS, but they’ve added him for their upcoming series against the Cubs and will start him today against lefty Jon Lester, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets. The idea, perhaps, is that the Dodgers’ group of position players is lefty-heavy, and the Cubs have plenty of lefty pitching (including Lester, Aroldis Chapman, Travis Wood, Mike Montgomery, and rookie reliever Rob Zastryzny, who the Cubs have announced has replaced infielder Tommy La Stella on their NLCS roster). Hernandez gives the Dodgers an extra right-handed bat. While he struggled overall this season, batting .190/.283/.324 in 244 plate appearances, Hernandez has a career .270/.362/.478 line against left-handed pitchers. Here’s more from the West divisions.
- It’s time for the Rockies to start spending heavily in hopes of making a playoff push, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Saunders cites Olney, who notes the recent correlation between spending and winning, with the Indians being the only team with a below-median payroll to make the playoffs. Whether some of Saunders’ proposed moves would actually propel the Rockies to the postseason is debatable — he suggests, for example, that the Rockies ought to consider sending Charlie Blackmon to St. Louis for Matt Adams and Trevor Rosenthal, should such a deal be offered. Adams’ power would likely play well at Coors Field, but the Rockies would sorely miss Blackmon, who joined Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu as one of the team’s best players in 2016.
- The Athletics are talking to former Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale about their third base coach position, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The job opened when Ron Washington departed for the Braves. All the Athletics’ other coaches are expected to return next season. Hale was the Athletics’ bench coach for three seasons before heading to Arizona, and Slusser writes that he was popular with Athletics players.