Doc: Dodgers in 'good position' at Deadline

August 30th, 2020

Maintaining the mindset that led to the February blockbuster acquisition of and , manager Dave Roberts said Sunday if the Dodgers make a deal before Monday’s Trade Deadline, “it’s gotta be something for our club that moves the needle.”

“We’ve got talent all around the roster,” Roberts said. “Just the way we work, a one-month or two-month rental just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. So, if something were to happen, it would be someone we have control of. Those are just parameters, but like I’ve said, I love where we’re at. Andrew [Friedman] and the guys in baseball ops are kicking tires. We’ll see what happens.”

Roberts added, “It’s a good position to be in, where you don’t feel there’s a need. Some guys are trending the right way and trending up, some guys have been performing all year. The depth is there. We’re keeping guys healthy. Guys are adhering to the rules, the protocols of the pandemic. Now you talk about getting a player, it’s got to be somebody that moves the needle for our club.”

Roberts' comments indicate the club does not feel it needs to bolster the rotation, which is relying on youngsters and , or the bullpen, despite significant injuries to and .

Roberts said Báez, out with a groin strain, “is a little bit of a ways away,” the same description he used last week for Kelly, who is out with shoulder inflammation.

“We miss him a ton,” Roberts said of Báez. “He’s a guy I’ve always counted on for leverage. But what happens is, you give other guys opportunities and see what they can do. We’ve done that and guys have certainly done well. But [we're] anxious to get Pete back.”

Among those stepping up are , who has allowed one earned run in 14 1/3 innings with 20 strikeouts and two walks, and , who has allowed one run in 14 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and two walks.

Other notes
• Roberts said (left hamstring) continues to improve, but the “best-case scenario” would be for him to return on Tuesday as a designated hitter.

Turner left Friday night’s game with a slight left hamstring strain. Roberts said Turner is able to hit, but not play defense or run. He sustained the injury stealing his first base of the season.

threw a full bullpen session on Saturday without a covering on his blister, and Roberts said the right-hander came out of it “really well.” Buehler is eligible to be activated on Thursday, and the Dodgers have not listed a probable starter for that game.

“Walker and Clayton [Kershaw], just trying to figure out when we’re going to pencil those guys in,” Roberts said.

• Although has allowed 11 of 12 home runs this year on fastballs, Roberts said the club does not believe he is tipping pitches, which has been a problem in the past. Rather, said Roberts, it’s likely a combination of pitch sequencing and location.

On Saturday against the Rangers, Stripling began the first nine batters with a first-pitch fastball. The last two batters, Ronald Guzmán and Leody Taveras, homered on the first pitch.

“You saw the second time through, he was mixing his sequences better,” Roberts said. “And also, it’s a command thing. Ross, throughout his entire career, has had very good command. But this year, the fastball command just hasn’t been located well. But the second time through, I thought he did a very nice job.”