Dodgers showing needed urgency with flurry of roster moves

As the All-Star break approaches and some semblance of health approaches the Dodgers, they are getting less patient with underperforming players.

The Dodgers moved out their third veteran player in three days prior to Sunday’s game, when they designated reliever Matt Guerrier for assignment and recalled hard-throwing Chris Withrow from triple-A Albuquerque.

That means since Friday, the suddenly very serious Dodgers have dispatched infielder Luis Cruz, reliever Peter Moylan and Guerrier, disappointments all.

With Guerrier, however, the Dodgers actually will have to eat a bit of salary. He is in the final year of a three-year, $12-million contract and earning $4.75 million this season. Maybe not a great deal of money if you’re Guggenheim, but it indicates management wants to move forward now.

“I feel like we’re just getting better by bringing Chris up,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “Matt is a veteran guy and a good guy in the clubhouse, but we just weren’t getting the results.”

Guerrier, 34, could never seem to get going this season and leaves the Dodgers with a 2-3 record, a 4.80 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. In his three seasons with the Dodgers, he went 6-8 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Mattingly denied that the team’s recent flurry of moves means the team is getting more serious.

“I’ve been serious the whole time,” he said. “But at some point you have to say, 'Hey, this is not working.'

“We feel like we’re getting a little bit better with these [three] guys.”

Withrow was up briefly earlier this month and displayed a power arm in three appearances. On Saturday the Dodgers designated Moylan and called up another hard-thrower, Jose Dominguez, who had appeared in only eight games with Albuquerque but throws 100 mph.

The Dodgers designated Cruz for assignment on Friday to activate outfielder Scott Van Slyke. And Van Slyke could be sent down when the Dodgers activate outfielder Carl Crawford, who started a rehab assignment Sunday, sometime next week.

Between getting healthy players back and the team starting to win, management is sending a clear message to the rest of the team that it’s time to move forward. It’s actually an encouraging sign, and you can be sure the moves have caught the attention of everyone in the clubhouse.

If the Dodgers are unable to trade Guerrier in the next 10 days, he can become a free agent. Mattingly said that when he and General Manager Ned Colletti met with Guerrier on Sunday, his joining Albuquerque wasn't really discussed.

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