By not immediately needing a fifth starting pitcher, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been able to maintain a relatively flexible 25-man active roster. They began the year carrying an extra position player in Darwin Barney, who was optioned to the Minors earlier this week in favor of Carlos Frias.
Frias didn’t appear in Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners and was shuttled back to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday. The Dodgers replaced him with Adam Liberatore on Friday, who appeared in the ninth inning for his Major-League debut.
Liberatore threw three straight balls to Corey Dickerson before battling back and getting him to ground out. Drew Stubbs flied out and Liberatore struck out Michael McKenry to end the game.
Speaking about his first appearance in the Majors, Liberatore was focused on not issuing any walks. “I was a little erratic at first,” he said. “I just tried to slow myself down and not walk anyone.”
As for being able to pitch in the ninth, Liberatore enjoyed the opportunity and environment. “That was pretty cool to come in and be able to finish the game. I think when I got two strikes on the last guy the crowd made some noise, so that was pretty cool.”
Liberatore impressed in Spring Training, throwing a scoreless 10.1 innings with a 0.68 WHIP and limiting opponents to a .118 batting average. In two appearances with the OKC Dodgers this season, he’s thrown a combined two innings and allowed one run on three hits.
While his stay with the big league club isn’t expected to be for a prolonged period of time, Liberatore is enjoying the moment. “I’m loving it right now. It was a great experience today getting to come up here.”
“My teammates have all been good, they’ve all come up and congratulate me. Everybody has been great, I’m happy to be here.”
Yasmani Grandal Discusses A.J. Ellis