LOS ANGELES — For the third time in three days, the Dodgers made a roster move, although their decision to designate relief pitcher Matt Guerrier for assignment had to rank as unexpected.
Guerrier, a nine-year veteran who spent the past two seasons with the Dodgers, had a 2-3 record and 4.80 ERA in 34 appearances. To take his spot on the roster, the team recalled right-hander Chris Withrow from Triple-A Albuquerque.
On Friday, struggling infielder Luis Cruz was designated for assignment, and Saturday, reliever Peter Moylan was returned to Albuquerque. In their place, Scott Van Slyke was activated from the disabled list and pitcher Jose Dominguez, whose fastball had been clocked at 103 mph, had his contract purchased from Triple-A.
The moves appear to be an indication the Dodgers are positioning themselves for a concerted run in the National League West, but manager Don Mattingly said it was simply a matter of making small improvements with better players in an attempt to keep their hot streak going.
“All we’re trying to do is get a little bit better and in area that we can make an improvement,” he said. “This move with Chris today and Dominguez yesterday are moves we feel (make us) a little bit better. Even though they’re kind of unknown, people are traveling all the time to see these guys in the minor leagues and seeing what’s going on with them. They’re saying, ‘These guys can help you.’ “
Withrow, 24, pitched in three games during a previous stay with the Dodgers and gave up two runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Meanwhile, pitcher Josh Beckett, who will undergo surgery next week to alleviate numbness and tingling in his pitching arm and hand, said he expects to return next season at full strength.
The surgery will be performed in Dallas by Dr. Greg Pearl. Beckett, who was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts, will have a rib on his right side removed to take pressure off a compressed nerve.
“Best-case scenario, being ready for next year and going to spring training without any limitations is probably the realistic goal,” Beckett said in his first comments since it was announced his season is over.
“I just hope it gets better. I want to able to throw the ball when I have endurance in my muscles and down my arm and in my hand. This is where we thought we could’ve ended up and that’s where it ended up.”
Beckett, who has been on the DL since May 15, did not pick up a ball for a month. But when he tried throwing from flat ground on Friday, the tingling in his hand returned. That’s when it was decided that surgery was his only realistic option.