At the trade deadline this season the Los Angeles Dodgers front office placed an importance on adding starting pitching depth. They addressed the deficiency by completing a three-team trade with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins that netted them Alex Wood and Mat Latos, among other players.
Although Wood, 24 and under team control beyond 2015 was the headliner in the Dodgers’ haul, Latos figured to bring an end to the search for a dependable fifth starter. However, that hasn’t necessarily been the case and now the right-hander is filling a role out of the bullpen, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Mat Latos now long reliever, Mattingly said.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 13, 2015
On the season Latos is 4-9 with a 4.92 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 1.31 WHIP and 95 strikeouts in 111.2 innings pitched. Since being traded to the Dodgers he’s 0-2 with a 6.56 ERA over five starts. He was scheduled to start last week against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but was scratched hours prior to first pitch due to neck stiffness.
This technically marks the second time Latos has been moved to the bullpen by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly as the club went to a four-man rotation on their 10-game road trip. However, Latos wasn’t used as a relief pitcher. In seven big league seasons the 27 year old has made 174 starts and never appeared out of the bullpen.
Mattingly previously indicated the Dodgers would use the fifth spot in their rotation to best matchup with their opponent at each turn, and at the time said Latos remained part of the discussion.