So I'll just spend a few moments talking about third base.
Andy LaRoche has been officially activated - and optioned to Las Vegas. With Nomar Garciaparra on the disabled list, Blake DeWitt will remain the starter at third base. Russell Martin will spot start against the occasional lefty, with Gary Bennett catching on those days.
Now, I've gotten as much of a kick as anyone out of Martin showing off his stuff at third - and at the same time, I don't expect it's going to happen every day, like it has the past two days. And I realize that Bennett has to play some, a little. And the Dodgers arguably need 12 pitchers right now, though an off day looms next week.
And I'll even give the Dodgers the benefit of the doubt that they're making this move for LaRoche's benefit, to give him some useful low-pressure at-bats before putting him on the major-league roster - as opposed to the way Garciaparra rushed back into the lineup. "At this point, Andy is healthy, and we want him to stay down there and get at-bats," Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng told Tony Jackson of the Daily News.
But essentially, on nights like Saturday, the Dodgers are choosing to start Bennett over LaRoche. And if LaRoche is healthy, that becomes pretty senseless.
There used to be a code that a player shouldn't be demoted because of an injury. Based on what happened with Matt Kemp last year and LaRoche this year, the Dodgers don't honor that code. I don't like to be a slave to codes, and I appreciate what DeWitt has done. Really. This isn't about putting down DeWitt, it's about comparing two enticing players. It's still worth remembering that if LaRoche had produced DeWitt's numbers in 2008 - .373 on-base percentage, .389 slugging percentage, zero home runs - many would have considered them disappointing. Expectations are higher for LaRoche, and he shouldn't be punished for not getting the same opportunity to meet them that DeWitt had in April - the same opportunity, as opposed to starting irregularly.
DeWitt's season is reminding me at this point of Jack Fimple's 1983 season, in which he came out of nowhere when Steve Yeager and Mike Scioscia were nursing injuries and wowed Los Angeles with his simple competency and occasional clutch hits.