The Dodgers have decided to call-up my favorite goggled starter right hander Stephen Fife to start Sunday afternoon against Jose Fernandez and the Marlins in the rubber game of the three game series in Miami. The club made the announcement after their wild 11 inning 9-7 win over the Fish.
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Fife made five starts in 2012, posting an 0-2 record, and a 2.70 ERA. He had 20 whiffs and 12 walks, and a 6.8 whiff per nine rate. Last year in 2013, Fife saw extensive time due to injuries, making ten starts, and throwing 58.1 innings. Often times, Fife threw like a ten-year veteran despite battling a shoulder bursitis injury of his own.
The 27-year old goggle wearing Boise native went 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 2013. He whiffed 45 and walked 20. Lowering his walk rate to 3.3, and his whiff rate improved slightly to 6.9.
During a hot stretch in 2013, Fife won three out of five decisions. He posted a 2.21 ERA in the first half of 2013. When runners were in scoring position, opposing hitters batted .235, and were held to a .638 OPS against.
Fife has been pitching down in Albuquerque for the entire season. He hasn’t been pitching very well, but I’m hoping he can somehow regain that form he had last year. In Albuquerque he is 1-2 with a 7.03 ERA in four starts. But he’s only pitched in six games down there. He’s allowed 31 hits in 20 innings, but it’s Albuquerque. Playing there is like playing on the surface of the moon. I have to believe that his results will improve by pitching at sea level. If he can just give the Dodgers seven innings and keep them in the game, then that’s all that matters.
He’ll only be here for one game anyways. The Dodgers don’t have much of a choice in this. Fife is replacing Hyun-jin Ryu who was originally scheduled to start, but was scratched and placed on the disabled list because of shoulder inflammation.
The Dodgers already had to use Red Patterson in the second game of the doubleheader at Minnesota. The only other options for Sunday was Zach Lee, or Fife. And I think Lee already pitched for Chattanooga on Saturday.
Fife better bring his A-game on Sunday. He’ll have to beat phenom Jose Fernandez, who has yet to be beaten at home.
In order to clear room on the roster, struggling reliever Jose Dominguez was optioned.