8/30/2014 4:48 P.M. ET
Bench coach Wallach designed unusual shift
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Bench coach Tim Wallach is the creator of the bizarre defensive alignment the Dodgers used with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th inning Friday night that featured four defenders equal distance apart between first base and second base.
Wallach said the deployment was a combination of a five-man infield and the exaggerated defensive shift the team deploys against dead-pull left-handed hitters like San Diego's Seth Smith. Andre Ethier became the fifth infielder, brought in from center field to stand closest to first base.
Smith bounced to second baseman Dee Gordon, whose off-target throw home was somehow back-handed on a bounce by catcher A.J. Ellis for the force out at the plate, but Ellis had no chance at completing an inning-ending double play because of the throw and the Padres then won the game on Yasmani Grandal's walk-off single that followed. Gordon said because of where he was when he fielded the ball, his throw almost hit pitcher Kevin Correia.
"I started thinking about it the previous at-bat," said Wallach, who left third baseman Justin Turner in his normal spot with the rest of the left side of the infield unprotected. "I thought it for sure was the right thing to do for Smith. Almost every ground ball he hits to the right side."
Wallach said the Dodgers have used the shift more this year because of the availability of "better information," but he prefers not to use it with runners in scoring position, because if the ball is hit into a hole, "it can really do damage.
"Plus, you're putting guys in uncomfortable positions to turn double plays. We practice it in Spring Training, but it can be awkward. You just try to be careful not to overlap each other, because they are starting the play closer to each other than normal."
Dodgers ready to bolster roster with callups
SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers will have their share of September callups Monday, but some moves can't wait.
Manager Don Mattingly confirmed that Hyun-Jin Ryu will come off the disabled list to start on Sunday and hinted strongly that third baseman Juan Uribe will be activated, too. Both will necessitate corresponding player moves.
Mattingly didn't rule out the possibility of a trade before Sunday's deadline, saying the front office has floated "a few different names, but not a lot."
Earlier this month, general manager Ned Colletti said he hoped to add a reliever and left-handed power bat, but has since said nearly every player put on waivers has been claimed and blocked from being dealt.
When rosters expand Monday, the Dodgers will call up a small group of Minor Leaguers. Outfielder Joc (30/30) Pederson will be one.
"You could assume that," Mattingly said. "One guy that deserves to get called up."
Other callups likely include catcher Tim Federowicz, reliever Yimi Garcia, infielders Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero.
"Guys always provide something," Mattingly said. "It might be in a blowout to give guys some innings off. It won't be a tryout camp, but there could be guys that are very important to what we do. We're not going to throw guys in just to give them at-bats."
Mattingly also said reliever Chris Perez, out since Aug. 4 with bone spurs in his right ankle, will be activated Monday. Left-hander Paco Rodriguez is the only other player currently on the disabled list with a chance of returning this season, but he's still not recovered from a strained Teres Major muscle.
Hanley, Puig both return to lineup
SAN DIEGO -- Hanley Ramirez, who was injured Friday, and Yasiel Puig, who was benched, were back in the Dodgers lineup Saturday.
Ramirez initially wasn't in Saturday's lineup after suffering an unspecified injury to his left leg when he tripped and fell rounding first base Friday night. He talked his way into staying in the game, hit a tying home run, then was removed for precautionary reasons.
Ramirez, however, persuaded manager Don Mattingly to put him back into the lineup Saturday afternoon when he passed running tests for Mattingly and vice president of medical services Stan Conte.
"We're satisfied he can do everything," Mattingly said. "Anything can happen, but we're confident he came out of it unscathed."
Puig also was back in the lineup after getting a "frustration day" Friday, when Mattingly said his young outfielder appeared to be playing frustrated while in a slump. Puig struck out pinch-hitting Friday night and is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.
In the revamped lineup, Mattingly moved Ramirez up to second and dropped Puig to fifth. "I want to get Hanley the extra at-bat," he said. "I thought he looked good last night [three hits, two RBIs]. It's the first time he looked better since he's been back [from the disabled list last Sunday]. It looks like he's swinging better."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.