Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dodgers add Nick Chili Buss and Alex Castellanos to active roster

With Andre Ethier nursing a sore ankle and Hanley Ramirez nursing a sore hamstring (caused by an irritated nerve in his back), the Dodgers added a couple bats to the active roster today in the form of Nick Buss (who goes by Chili, his middle name) and Alex Castellanos.

Castellanos was already on the 40-man roster and played in four games earlier this season. What's interesting is Buss was not on the 40-man roster. Since there's no disabled list in September and the Dodgers' 40-man roster is already full-up. So, there needs to be a corresponding roster move. Here's what I see as the possibilities:
Nothing else really makes sense. My prediction (on Twitter) was a Herrera DFA, but perhaps Dominguez could be the guy. He hasn't fully recovered from his quad injury and probably won't be called upon to do anything this month or next anyway. If not, I'd put my money on Herrera being outrighted.

Dominguez went on the 15-day DL on July 22, so he'd be eligible to come off in the next week or so.

But back to Buss. We already know what Castellanos is (for the most part), but what's the deal with Buss? Well, he's not a top prospect, but he's been a solid minor-leaguer for the last three seasons.

As the Albuquerque Isotopes' best and most consistent player, he was named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team and postseason All-Star team by hitting .303/.363/.525 with 17 home runs, 100 RBI, 29 doubles, 11 triples, 84 runs scored and 21 stolen bases (in 23 attempts).

His home/road splits have something to do with the overall good numbers Buss posted in 2013:

Home
.362/.434/.642
Road
.249/.295/.419

But he hits pretty well against lefties (probably aided by the home/road splits):

vs. RHP
.311/.373/.546
vs. LHP
.282/.338/.473

Buss, 26, has experience in all three outfield spots. He's played 449 games in center in his minor-league career, so he can obviously handle it. He has a little pop and has increased his walk rate four years in a row. He'll be a minor-league free agent after this year if the Dodgers don't to retain him.

Buss doesn't have any standout tools, but his baserunning and defense are probably the best. For this team, he could spell one of the regular outfielders (or even the backups) late in a game or be the second pinch-runner off the bench after Dee Gordon.

If nothing else, Buss will have a cool story to tell his children. It'd be a shock if he did anything of significance for the Dodgers this season.

Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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