With the starting pitchers for Saturday and Sunday yet to be determined, the Los Angeles Dodgers were dealt another loop when Zack Greinke left the team to be with his wife, who is expecting their first child.
Greinke was slated to start on Friday against the New York Mets, but will not be able to due to his paternal duties. This left the Dodgers without a starter to follow Clayton Kershaw and face left-hander Jon Niese at Citi Field. Speculation led to Ian Thomas, who is currently on the 25-man roster, or Eric Stults, who is scheduled to pitch for the OKC Dodgers on Friday.
After Thursday night’s game, the Dodgers announced that Thomas would be the one getting the starting nod on Friday.
Thomas has some big shoes to fill in place of Greinke and follows a complete-game shutout by Kershaw. While no one expects Thomas to replicate the reigning MVP, the Dodgers will expect Thomas to give them a chance to win. The left-hander has thrown five innings in two appearances this season and has a 7.20 ERA. He was acquired from the Braves in the trade that sent Juan Uribe to Atlanta, and began to stretch his innings as a starting pitcher. Thomas has primarily worked as a reliever in his career, strictly one in the Majors.
Some may consider it a bullpen game; however, the 28-year-old has thrown over 80 pitches four times with OKC. Even if he can’t go for an extended amount of time, the Dodgers bullpen is well-rested, throwing just two innings in the past two days. Before that, they threw multiple innings on Monday and Tuesday though.
Don’t expect Thomas to join the rotation, as Greinke is expected back this weekend, Brett Anderson is expected to avoid the disabled list and the Dodgers are expected to trade for at least one starting pitcher in the coming week.