The Dodgers completed their second sweep of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but there was a lot of news you may have missed out on if you just checked the boxscore.
*3:10 pm update. Kenta Maeda has been placed on the 10-day DL after the Dodgers reinstated Hyun-Jin Ryu for Thursday’s start. *
Andrew Toles has been placed on the 10-day DL with a torn right ACL. The Dodgers expect Toles to miss the remainder of the season as he will undergo surgery within the next two weeks on his right leg. Toles was beginning to separate himself as the Dodgers leadoff hitter before this injury and will now leave a huge hole to fill out in left field. He was hitting .375 with five extra base hits and 11 runs scored in his last 11 games. The Dodgers have patched their left field hole by moving Cody Bellinger back to the outfield and starting Chase Utley and Scott Van Slyke at first base.
Left-Handed Relief pitcher Adam Liberatore was placed on the 10-day DL with a left groin strain. Liberatore was with the team for a brief stint as he was just called up this past Monday.
The Dodgers recalled OF/1B Scott Van Slyke and OF Brett Eibner from Triple-A OKC to replace the two on the active roster. Van Slyke rejoins the team after spending a little over a week down in the minors with the activation. Eibner also rejoins the team. In his brief stint with the big league club, Eibener hit .200 in 5 at-bats with the Dodgers.
Josh Ravin was activated from the DL and optioned to Triple-A OKC. This is the first time Ravin has been activated this season after heading to the DL in early spring training. Ravin was optioned to OKC because there was already too many arms in the crowded Dodgers bullpen.
Rich Hill threw 5 hitless innings in his second rehab start with Rancho Cucamonga. Hill made 68 pitches, had 3 strikeouts and 3 walks. No reports surfaced about any blister issues. He could return to the team when they return home to face the Miami Marlins.
The Dodgers probably starters are Hyun-Jin Ryu on Thursday, Clayton Kershaw on Friday, Alex Wood on Saturday, and Julio Urias on Sunday.
Franklin Gutierrez is dealing with a hip flexor strain. He will not start today against Tyler Anderson (LHP). Cody Bellinger will start in left, and Utley will start again at first base
Cody Bellinger hit his 6th home run of the season, tied for the team lead with Yasiel Puig in home runs. Bellinger has only played in 14 games this season for the Dodgers.
Outscored the Pirates 21-6 to complete the series sweep. This is the team’s first 5 game winning streak of the season. They have now won 10 of the last 12 games.
Kenta Maeda tied Clayton Kershaw for the longest start of the season at 8 ⅓. It was the longest start of Kenta’s career and best of this season.
Chase Utley showed some veteran presence at first base last night by trying to get Josh Harrison to fall for the fake ball trick.
Kenta Maeda looked really sharp last night. There was concern over Maeda’s production early in the season where we started to hear chatter about whether Maeda should go the DL or even be moved to the bullpen. After three consecutive solid starts by Maeda, he’s looked a lot more like the Maeda that we have seen for the better part of last season. Let’s hope Maeda continues to keep command of his fastball. If Maeda does have command of his fastball, we can expect more outings like this, 8 innings in just under 90 pitches. The move to place Maeda on the DL is strictly for roster positioning. With all the Dodgers starting pitching depth, the Dodgers are equipped to allow starters to skip starts by placing them on the DL and continue to utilize the same roster space. [3pm update. More on the developing story tomorrow.]
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Cody Bellinger hits another home run for the Dodgers. How did Bellinger manage to hit this ball over the left-center wall? He was off balance and hit the ball seemingly off the end of the bat. It just goes to show how much raw power the kid has. Not to mention he almost had his third multi-homer game of the season. He missed a home run by a ball that went about five feet foul. Bellinger is showing he’s a real run producer and now is tied for team lead in home runs. I think Bellinger can make himself comfortable in the clean-up spot.
Rich Hill had a magnificent start with Rancho Cucamonga. The fact that he allowed no hits is encouraging, but the fact that he was able to ramp up his pitch count close to 75 was more impressive for me. Hill is still looking to find his command, 3 walks and 2 hit batters is not what you like to see, but five innings is a good sign. Let’s keep an eye out to see how Hill’s blister holds up after pitching 70+ pitches. If there’s no sign of the finger flaring up, we should see Hill back with the team sometime next week.
The Dodgers open up a four-game series against the first place Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers come into the series one and a half games back from Colorado for first in the NL West. The Rockies hold the series led over the Dodgers 4-2 so far this season.
* News updates are reported by Dodger beat writers, David Vassegh, Ken Gurnick, Alanna Rizzo, and Eric Stephen *