The Dodgers will not have a key player available for Saturday's Game 6 against the Braves, as Chris Taylor suffered an ankle injury in Friday night’s contest. Taylor suffered the injury while chasing down a Freddie Freeman double in the eighth inning of Game 5, and Taylor managed to finish the inning before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. Taylor is not in the lineup, but manager Dave Roberts told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times and other reporters that Taylor is available off the bench and is “moving around much better today. It’s better than he expected.”
It hasn’t been a great postseason for Taylor, who has hit only .161/.257/.226 over 35 plate appearances during Los Angeles’ playoff run. Still, Taylor’s regular-season performance and his versatility (he has been used as a second baseman and left fielder this October) make him a valuable roster asset, and it’s not like Taylor hasn’t had success in the playoffs — he was the 2017 NLCS MVP.
Because Taylor can’t play in Game 6, the Dodgers could turn to Max Muncy or Enrique Hernandez to play second base. The Dodgers would also be reduced to a three-man bench, as they used 15 of their 28 roster spots for the NLCS on pitchers.
More from around the NL West…
- Several Padres-related topics are addressed by The Athletic’s Dennis Lin as part of a reader mailbag piece, with a particular focus on San Diego’s offseason plans. Lin doesn’t think the Padres will make a play for Trevor Bauer this winter, and re-signing Jurickson Profar could be difficult since his asking price may be beyond the Friars’ comfort zone. “The team isn’t interested in paying handsomely for a secondary option,” Lin writes, though Profar ended up being essentially an everyday player in 2020.
- Of course, more regular playing time could emerge for a player like Profar if the Padres were to trade Wil Myers. Lin figures San Diego will again look into trades for Myers, whose once-negligible trade value has been boosted by an outstanding 2020 season (.288/.353/.606 with 15 homers in 218 PA). The $41M that Myers is owed through the 2022 season may still make a trade hard to complete, though naturally the Padres wouldn’t mind keeping Myers if he keeps producing as he did this year. At the outskirts of the Padres’ roster, Lin thinks Francisco Mejia, Joey Lucchesi and Trey Wingenter could also be trade candidates.
- In a Giants mailbag, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle believes shortstop Marco Luciano is the Giants’ only truly “untouchable” prospect in trade talks. This doesn’t mean that other highly-touted youngsters like Joey Bart or Heliot Ramos are anywhere near being available, but rather that San Francisco perceives Luciano as “the main driver for a winning era.” Luciano emerged as a favorite of top-100 prospect lists (ranked 14th by Fangraphs, 17th by Baseball America, 29th by MLB.com) after a big breakout in last year’s Arizona Fall League, though the 19-year-old has only one official year of pro ball under his belt. It remains to be seen if he’ll stay at shortstop or move to third base or the outfield in the future, but the 19-year-old Luciano’s batting potential has already drawn raves.