2016 NLDS: Nationals Outfielder Chris Heisey Critical Of Dodgers’ Roster Use
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman the Los Angeles Dodgers have built a roster and organization centered around depth. It’s a mantra Friedman touted during his introductory press conference in October 2014 and one he’s since stressed.

That philosophy drew criticism, but the approach was instrumental in the Dodgers extending their run of National League West titles over the past two seasons. In 2015, Los Angeles used 55 players and 31 pitchers — both marks set a franchise record. The Dodgers tied both numbers this season.

Last year, depth was often utilized one day at a time, with the Dodgers looking to gain any possible advantage in their lineup. In 2016, their depth was necessary to offset a record number of injuries.

The Dodgers set a Major League record with 28 different players put on the disabled list. Washington Nationals outfielder Chris Heisey was part of the constant roster shuffling last season.

He recently touched on the difficulty he had playing under such an arrangement, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:

“They’re doing it within the rules,” he added. “It just so happens that players have to deal with it. They’re just manipulating the roster like they’re allowed to.

“On the personal side, they may not realize the toll it may take on a player’s confidence when he’s going up and down, taken off the roster, put back on the roster, in my case released and signed back. It was a crazy year. I made some good friends there, so it wasn’t all bad. But it was tough.”

Heisey bounced to and from Triple-A Oklahoma City a combined 10 times, was released and re-signed. He hit a lowly .182/.347/.327 in 33 games with the Dodgers while playing all three outfield positions. This season, Luis Avilan grew familiar with the Oklahoma City airport.

Heisey signed a Minor League contract with the Nationals last November. He made the Opening Day roster and proceeded to hit .216/.290/.446 with three doubles, nine home runs and 17 RBI in 83 games. He’s 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a sacrifice fly through four games in the National League Division Series.