Although they were mired in what would go on to be 16 losses in 17 games, the Los Angeles Dodgers were in a drastically different situation at this time a year ago. Even with that losing stretch, they held a seemingly insurmountable lead in the National League West.
So it made for an interesting dynamic when it came time for active rosters to expand at the turn of September. The Dodgers faced a juggling act of keeping — or getting — players fresh for the postseason without rust potentially setting in.
There was also a doubleheader to account for on Sept. 2, or the first day after teams can field active rosters of up to 40 players. The Dodgers aggressively called up prospects and some of their depth from the Minor Leagues.
Now, with the team fighting to overtake the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West standings, the Dodgers intend to take a more methodical approach.
General manager Farhan Zaidi indicated there will be a handful of callups on Sept. 1 and that the Dodgers will scale back in general when compared to last year, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“One of the things that we’ve talked about, we had a little bit of a quirk in the schedule where on Sept.  last year, we played a doubleheader. We brought a lot of guys up and once we got through that doubleheader, it almost felt like we had too much of a crowd. And the team wasn’t playing well, either, so that kind of factored into things. I think we’re going to be a little more selective now, really look for guys that have a role, and give Dave as functional a roster as possible this last month.”
With that in mind, Zaidi added the Dodgers will bring up players who have been with the team, not those in position to make an MLB debut:
“Fortunately, a lot of the guys we have on the radar are guys that have spent a lot of time around this group of players at the big league level. We’re not going to be looking at guys necessarily making their big league debuts.”
In addition to roster callups, the Dodgers figure to see the return of several injured players. Among them is Chase Utley, whom Zaidi said should be activated off the 10-day disabled list on Saturday.
While the front office looks to field and maintain a practical expanded roster, manager Dave Roberts and the players will then need to do their part in climbing up the NL West standings.