After it was announced on Thursday that the Los Angeles Dodgers designated pitcher Mat Latos for assignment, a corresponding move needed to be made. Carlos Frias, who had been battling back issues, was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.
The move was not a surprise, but more of something that would eventually happen. Latos’ tenure as a Dodger experienced sub-par results, thus leading manager Don Mattingly to move him into the bullpen. The unfortunate roster move however does have a bright spot; Frias can now audition for a role on the postseason roster to prove he is fully recovered.
While hesitant to give Frias a distinct role, Mattingly thought of the opportunity to see if Frias can be effective from the pen. “It gets Carlos in the bullpen and gets him active,” Mattingly said. “It gives us a chance to look at him and see what he’s going to look like out of the bullpen.”
For the 2015 campaign, Frias made 12 starts and two appearances from the bullpen. The 25-year-old held a record of 4-4, with a 4.39 ERA, 4.28 FIP, 85 ERA+ and 1.55 WHIP. His last appearance for the Dodgers was on June 30, in a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Although he received a no-decision, the Dominican Republic native went five innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs.
Since Frias has seen positive results as both a starting and relief pitcher, Mattingly is trying to fully assess the situation before declaring one role or the other. “It would be hard for me to say right now how we’re going to use him,” he remarked.
“We’ve got to try and find him a place to get him the ball, there obviously are a lot of guys out there. I’m not just going to throw him into the eighth inning or anything like that. We know his stuff is good.”
Something to point out about Frias is that his best two starts this season came against postseason-caliber teams on the road. On May 30, Frias threw seven innings, allowing five hits and one unearned run in a victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. On June 25, he faced the Chicago Cubs and earned another victory. Over five innings, the pitcher allowed seven hits and three walks, but allowed zero earned runs in an eventual 4-0 Dodger victory.