Dodgers top prospect has immediate chance to crash LA's rotation

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The Dodgers are still sitting at the top of the NL West, with the most wins in MLB so far behind only Yankees, but a recent spate of losses has also made their win percentage take a sharp fall. Over their last five games (April 10-April 15), LA has only one win against the Padres, sandwiched by two losses to give San Diego the series, and a loss on Jackie Robinson Day against the Nationals with Tyler Glasnow on the bump.

Some cracks have started to show in the Dodgers' grand plan during this stretch — the bottom of the lineup isn't producing at the plate, and the pitching staff's ERA is ranked 20th in MLB, with the bullpen mostly to blame. The rotation also took a hit earlier this week, when Bobby Miller went onto the IL with shoulder inflammation.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers will be putting on a bullpen game, with Ryan Yarbrough getting three or four innings, then will be bringing up a fresh face in Landon Knack (LA's No. 13 prospect) for to do most of the work on Wednesday.

Dave Roberts said during spring training that Knack would be getting his MLB debut at some point during the season, and it seems like that time is now. Yarbrough and Knack going for back-to-back starts could be a way for the Dodgers to evaluate both quickly, and could be a way for Knack to move in as LA's de facto sixth starter.

Dodgers will call up No. 13 prospect Landon Knack for MLB debut on Wednesday

Yarbrough, a former starter with the Rays, has pitched 14 2/3 innings so far this season, most in bulk appearances behind starters and once behind opener Ryan Brasier. He got lit up by the Giants on April 2 during that 4 1/3 inning appearance, giving up all four of the runs San Francisco put on the board. His next turn against the Cubs on April 7 looked better on an individual level, but he couldn't staunch the bleeding, as the Cubs routed the Dodgers for an 8-1 win.

So far down in Triple-A, Knack has pitched nearly 16 innings for a 4.02 ERA, but he's coming off of 43 innings and a 2.93 ERA in Oklahoma City at the end of last season and a couple of impressive outings in spring training.

It might be time to make the switch and send a member of the old guard out in favor of something new. The Dodgers certainly need some kind of spark of life or change in the bullpen, and maybe Knack's debut will do the trick.