Carlos Frias made his Major-League debut Aug. 4 when he threw two scoreless innings in relief during the Los Angeles Dodgers loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Frias’ welcome to the big league moment came immediately as the first batter he faced was Albert Pujols, who singled off the rookie right-hander. However, it was the only hit Frias allowed in his appearance.
The Dominican Republic native went on to make seven more relief appearances with mixed results before being placed in the starting rotation for a spot start Wednesday against the Washington Nationals. Frias threw six shutout innings in what wound up being a 14-inning game and walked away with a no-decision.
Frias isn’t penciled in for another start, though it’s something manager Don Mattingly is considering. With some uncertainty surrounding what his role may be, Frias acknowledged he needs to be prepared for whatever may come, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
You’ve got to be ready for anything.”
That being said, Frias pointed to a difference in preparation as a starting pitcher:
The preparation is different, you know,” he said. As a starter, “you can prepare a couple days before you get on the mound.”
Without committing to how he may be used, Mattingly again complimented Frias for being a versatile option:
Carlos, we feel like, could be very valuable for us in different areas,” Mattingly said. “He could be a guy that makes a start. He could also be a guy that helps us out of the pen. The way he’s been pitching, you can put him in different scenarios.”
Frias started 89 games in the Minors over eight seasons, compared to just 33 relief appearances. Prior to joining the Dodgers, he went a combined 10-5 with a 4.58 ERA during his time with Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque.
Once in a bit of flux, the Dodgers starting rotation may now be on more stable ground. The trio of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are healthy, and Dan Haren and Roberto Hernandez appear to be Mattingly’s preferred choices at the backend of the rotation.
With Friday’s win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Haren is now 4-1 in his last six starts and Hernandez is 2-2 since being traded to the Dodgers. If not used as a starting pitcher again, Frias’ power arm could be of use in seventh-inning situations.
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