The Los Angeles Dodgers are relying on yet another starting pitcher from the Minor Leagues to fill the voids left by Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy. Joe Wieland, who joined the Dodgers Tuesday, was officially activated Wednesday to make a start against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Despite being the next in what’s been a long line of pitchers called up from the Minors, Wieland is looking to seize his opportunity, per Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
I don’t want it to be a one-and-done,” Wieland said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity. But at the same time, I want to take it and run with it.”
Mike Bolsinger expressed a similar sentiment following his spot start, but was optioned back to Triple-A soon after. Wieland, who was acquired in December from the San Diego Padres as part of the trade package that sent Matt Kemp to San Diego, has minimal experience in the Majors with the Padres. This time, however, he says he is a far different pitcher:
One hundred percent,” he said. “When I got called up (by the Padres), I didn’t know what it took to be a big-league pitcher. I didn’t know what I had. I didn’t know what I needed to do. I knew I was a big-leaguer. I knew I can pitch. At the same time, I didn’t understand how to prepare. I didn’t understand any of the little things you need to do as a big-leaguer. In the minor leagues, you can more or less get away with things.The Dodgers have had a big turnover this season.”
The turnover of starting pitchers Wieland spoke of has been a noteworthy mark, as Wieland will be the ninth pitcher to start for the Dodgers exactly one month from Opening Day. Comparatively, the Dodgers used 12 starters all of last season, while the Major League average was 10.3.
Thus far, Scott Baker has been the only pitcher called up who made more than one start with the Dodgers. However, after his second outing, Baker was designated for assignment. Carlos Frias is scheduled to take the mound Thursday, which would be his second start with the Dodgers this season.
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