The Dodgers and Angels put on their annual Freeway Series three-game show to end spring training for both teams starting Friday night. Opening Day is Monday, April 3 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Brandon McCarthy earned the #4 spot in the rotation. He’ll be preceded by Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill and followed by Hyun-jin Ryu. At least that’s the plan today.
Roberts added that Alex Wood, a finalist for the rotation, would share the long relief role with Ross Stripling. Rounding out the bullpen are closer Kenley Jansen, set-up man Sergio Romo, Grant Dayton, Luis Avilan and Chris Hatcher.
Barnes will likely be the backup catcher, although that’s not been formally announced. Kiké Hernandez hurt his wrist the other day and is questionable for the backup infielder spot until he shows it’s healed. If he can’t go, it’ll probably be Chris Taylor, and that might mean Van Slyke stays up too, since he can play center field and Taylor doesn’t. Additionally,
The Dodgers trimmed the roster before leaving Arizona on Wednesday, sending out seven players. Infielder Rob Segedin was optioned and reassigned were outfielders Tyler Holt and O’Koyea Dickson, pitcher Brandon Morrow, first basemen Cody Bellinger and Ike Davis, and infielder Charlie Culberson.
“It’s a doggy-dog world out there.” I have seen that written on the Internet more times than I care to mention, and it apparently applies to the Dodgers’ starting rotation competition this spring. There are seven proven pitchers trying to fit into the two spots for fourth and fifth starters. Kershaw, Hill and Maeda look to be locks for the first three slots, but after that you’ve got McCarthy, Wood, Kazmir, Ryu, Stripling, Stewart and Urias hunting for work.
“As we look around here today, we have a lot of starting pitching depth, but as we finish spring training, guys like Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, they’re going to have to pitch somewhere,” Roberts said. “So whether it is out of the rotation or potentially out of the pen, I don’t know that answer right now.”
Oh, and once they get the starting pitching set, they can start on their “eight outfielders for three positions” problem.
MLB released its Top 100 Prospectslist and the Dodgers placed five guys on it. Only two are in the top fifty; 1B Bellinger at #13 and RHP Yadier Alvarez at #49. Bellinger is up 19 spots since the last list was released at mid-season last summer, while Alvarez is up 49.
Logan Forsythe is glad to be on a winning team. “I’m happy to just come over to a winning ballclub, organization and help some young guys if I can, jump in with the core guys and try to help these guys anyway I can,” Forsythe said.
it was the first time in franchise history that the Dodgers won four straight games with a rookie starter getting the win each time. The last team to do so was Oakland from Sept. 9-12, 2012.
For the record, the As’ pitchers were Tommy Milone, now pitching for the Twins; Jarrod Parker, who last pitched in OB at AAA Nashville for the As; Dan Straily, who’s having a pretty good 2016 for the Reds, although the Dodgers beat him 3-1 on May 25; and A.J. Griffin, who’s now pitching for the division-leading Texas Rangers.
The streak has probably stopped for the Dodgers, though, unless Urias picks up Kershaw in relief tomorrow night.
The D-Backs send out RHP Shelby Miller, who has disappointed them this season. He and Greinke were the two big acquisitions the team made to bolster their pitching staff last offseason, and Miller’s 2-10, 6.81 ERA record is not at all what management had in mind when they got him. He’ll face another righty, Ross Stripling (3-6, 4.16 ERA). The Dodgers’ expectations of him were not highly publicized at the start of the year. He’s had trouble recently: he’s winless in his last four starts and has an 5.09 ERA over that period, but the Dodgers haven’t hit much behind him.
Tonight's Dodger lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Grandal C Reddick RF Pederson CF Toles LF Stripling P
The postponement of Tuesday’s rainout till today means the Dodgers will pitch Ross Stripling (3-5, 4.13 ERA) in the opener and Rich Hill in the nightcap at 5:10PM PT. Stripling will face Tyler Anderson, who was the scheduled starter on Tuesday before the rainout. Hill will face rookie Jeff Hoffman, (0-2, 8.10 ERA).
Bud Norris (6-9, 4.26 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and rookie Tim Adleman (1-1, 3.72 ERA) pitches for the Reds.
MLB.com is not responsive, so I’m a little short on further details about this matchup. Sorry.
Norris is 3-2 with a 4.34 ERA since coming to the Dodgers from the Braves at the trade deadline. He hasn’t pitched since he was pulled from the July 31 game with a mid-back strain after only 13 pitches. That led to a stint on the 15-day DL. Adleman’s big league record was compiled in May before he suffered an oblique strain and went on the DL himself. He’s made two starts at AAA Louisville since his recovery.
The Dodgers go for a series sweep with rookie RHP Ross Stripling (3-4, 4.07 ERA). He’ll face RHP Jerad Eickhoff (8-12, 3.82 ERA), who’s like Dodgers’ pitchers in that he gets in trouble in the sixth inning when the opposing batters get their third look at him. His ERA for that inning this year is 12.71. Stripling has, this season, shown himself to be better in a long relief role; he’s made three long-relief appearances in July, posting a 1.54 ERA over 11 2/3 innings. Over his 10 starts this season, Stripling has a 4.61 ERA.
A.J. Ellis writes a column for ESPN about Vin Scully.
Pitching notes from Jon Weisman. Highlights/lowlights: Kershaw may throw a bullpen session on Saturday, and Ryu is not expected to pitch again this season.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Phillies: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Kendrick LF Stripling P
I’m beginning to think that Rich Hill is a phantom. His blisters preclude him from starting again today, so the Dodgers ask rookie RHP Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) to step in. He’ll face the Pirates’ Ivan Nova (8-6, 4.83 ERA), who will be making his second start for them after coming over from the Yankees at the trade deadline. His first one was successful: he went seven innings and gave up just three runs in a win over the Reds last Saturday.
Josh Reddick hasn’t gotten off to a great start with the Dodgers, but he’s 5-for-13 with two homers against Nova in his career.