As the last weeks of Spring Training come to a close, the Dodgers have wasted no time finalizing their starting rotation for the upcoming season. The team announced it has optioned Zach Lee down to minor league camp, making way for Mike Bolsinger to be the team’s fifth starter to start the season alongside Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, and Alex Wood.
Lee made three starts during the spring, compiling a 4.50 ERA in eight innings of work, while striking out four and allowing seven hits. Bolsinger, meanwhile, pitched in three games (with one start), and gave up just two runs in nine innings of work.
Aside from outperforming Lee in the spring, Bolsinger proved himself to be a reliable back-of-the-rotation starter last season as he made 21 starts for the Dodgers and had a 3.62 ERA. And even though Lee is a highly-touted prospect, he’s only pitched in one Major League game, deeming Bolsinger to be the “safer” option.
However, perhaps Bolsinger isn’t in the clear just yet, as he was scratched from his start on Sunday due to abdominal tightness.
Mike Bolsinger was scratched from today’s start with abdominal tightness on his left side. He is day-to-day.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 20, 2016
Given that he was listed as “day-to-day” and there are more than two weeks until Opening Day, it seems unlikely that this injury will cause him to lose his newly-earned spot in the rotation, though it’s certainly something worth keeping an eye on.
It’s also unclear how long Bolsinger will remain the team’s rotation as Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to return sometime in May, but until then, Bolsinger will be taking the hill every fifth day for the Dodgers.