In the ever amazing and ongoing saga on who will take over Brett Anderson’s spot in the rotation after the left-hander underwent back surgery, we have a new twist and turn that has been presented to us. Apparently, the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to start right-hander Zach Lee on Sunday.
Lee only pitched 4.2 innings in the bigs with the Dodgers last season, but he managed to give up 7 earned runs while striking out three batters. Not exactly an ideal ratio in that short of time. However, the team still likes what he could possibly do as a back-end-of-the-rotation guy. And he’s going to get his shot at the job with Anderson sidelined for a while.
From Bill Plunkett, of the Orange County Register, on Twitter earlier today:
Zach Lee/Ross Stripling will pitch Sunday for #Dodgers. Lee will make start that was supposed to go to Brett Anderson. Their day to throw
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 4, 2016
This makes sense. You keep guys on their scheduled throwing program and you definitely don’t deviate from that plan. It’s good to see that both Lee and Ross Stripling will get work in on Sunday since they both could be in the mix for that fifth spot in the rotation now with Anderson out for three to five months.
Last season in Triple-A, Lee went 11-6 with a 2.70 ERA while striking out 81 batters in 113.1 innings. He only walked 19 of the 451 batters he faced down there. That’s a great thing to see. Baseball America, the prospect website, gives Lee a 40-grade and a risk of low. Lee could, possibly, make it as a fifth starter.
Lee throws his fastball anywhere between 88 and 92 miles per hour, sometimes being able to hit 94. He also uses a cutter that has some slider aspects to it, as well as a curveball and a changeup that project as just average at best pitches. He’s a strike thrower and possible innings eater, and that’s not bad out of a possible fifth starter.
He’s going to get his shot to make an impression on Sunday. If he doesn’t, then it’ll likely be up to Stripling, who is a sinker-baller coming off of Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss all of 2014. The Dodgers do have options out there, but the guys need to perform in order to get their shot.