Now that the 40-man roster expansion is in use, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the luxury of thinking more methodically when it comes to resting the starting rotation. The Dodgers have added help in terms of long relievers and a few starters, so management is preparing different scenarios to fix in spot starts. A perfect example of this came into play on Sunday. Pitcher Brett Anderson left the game early with a cramp in his left calf, so the Dodgers have to think accordingly in trying to keep Anderson healthy.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, manager Don Mattingly is thinking of using Mike Bolsinger this weekend:
“We’re going to see what happens with Brett today and see where Stan is with that, and then try to make a really good decision with that and go forward,” he said.
Bolsinger made his first start in six weeks on September 4 against the San Diego Padres. The right-handed pitcher tossed five innings, allowing only two hits, two walks and three earned runs, while striking out six in a victory.
When asked, Mattingly thought of the bigger picture in how resting his top-tier pitchers might allow other pitchers like Bolsinger to apparently fit in:
We’re going to take care of Zack and going to take care of Clayton,” Mattingly said. “Obviously you want to pitch them as much as you can, but you don’t want to overdo it. Kind of the same way with Brett.”
After the freeway series concludes on Thursday, the Dodgers head to Chase field for a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bolsinger has had success in two starts against the division rival. In those games, the pitcher has allowed two earned runs and six hits over 11 innings pitched, resulting in one win.
Mattingly agreed that the Dodgers do need to rest their aces, thus allowing others to the opportunity to thrive:
Then I think you look at the other guys as an opportunity to match up as best we can. Give guys a little extra rest –[a] what’s-best-for-everyone type thing. You don’t want to think one guy is more important than another, but you prioritize your guys you want to take care of first, then you work your other guys in around that to hopefully take care of everyone.”
Now that the Dodgers have a comfortable 8.5 game lead over the San Francisco Giants, the front office has a bit of the leeway in determining how to properly set up and rest their pitchers. A key moment towards lining up the postseason rotation will be which pitchers start against the Giants, during the series starting on September 28.