Before the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers probably didn’t anticipate Carlos Frias to be tied for the team lead in wins on June 26.
But yet here they are on that date and Frias is tied with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for the team lead in wins. Frias notched his fifth win on Thursday, tossing five scoreless innings in a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. It was another positive in an up-and-down season for the young right-hander, who outdueled Cubs’ ace Jon Lester.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, manager Don Mattingly knows Frias still needs some refining:
Carlos is a work in progress,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Is he going to grow as far as pitch selection, preparation, being able to use all his pitches, all that stuff?”
Mattingly then quickly reminded everyone of the potential that Frias has:
His stuff is different than Mike’s stuff. Mike’s stuff is all about mixture and using his breaking ball, getting it over. … Carlos’ stuff is better. Carlos’ stuff is as good as probably anybody we have.”
That’s quite a compliment, considering the Dodgers have two former Cy Young winners in their rotation. While maybe not completely justified, Frias does have the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher with a mid-90s fastball, sharp slider and a changeup that is complementary.
Frias’ biggest issue this season has been letting innings get away from him. He usually runs into trouble early on, like his home start against the San Diego Padres, or he runs into trouble later into it, like his road start against the Texas Rangers.
While the Dodgers are expected to make a move for starting pitching, it’s good to know that they have a capable plan if that doesn’t work out.