In an unexpected turn of events, the Los Angeles Dodgers cut ties with a pitcher with whom they acquired not too long ago.
On Thursday, it was announced that the Dodgers designated Mat Latos for assignment.
The pitcher was acquired on July 30, just before the non-waiver trade deadline. Coming from the Miami Marlins in a 13-player, three-team trade, Latos was sought as a possible solution to the inconsistency in the back end of the rotation. Unfortunately for Latos, his tenure as a Dodger didn’t pan out as expected.
In five starts, the six-year veteran went 0-3, with a 6.66 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 57 ERA+, and 1.52 WHIP. The pitcher’s only quality start thrown was his first start against the Los Angeles Angels. Latos surrendered at least seven hits and four earned runs in three of his five starts.
Manager Don Mattingly stated that it was more of a baseball decision and that Latos understood the concept. “We talked to him [Latos] the other day,” Mattingly said.
“He was great, he was fine. He was frustrated from the standpoint of not pitching well, frustrated he wasn’t helping us. I think he handled it really well. It just didn’t work out. The biggest thing is we needed the spot. It’s just unfortunate.”
His last appearance for the Dodgers was somewhat symbolic of his time with the club. In the 16-inning marathon against the Rockies on Tuesday, Latos entered in the 16th inning and allowed a home run that was the deciding run.
The removal of Latos from the 40-man roster allowed the Dodgers to reinstate Carlos Frias from the 60-day disabled list. Mattingly commented on Frias coming back and stated that this was an opportunity for Frias to show if he has truly recovered. “It was really about Carlos and wanting to get a look at him to see if he’s going to be able to help us,” the manager said.
Frias last pitched in a Major League game on June 30, before heading to the disabled list. In 14 appearances and 12 starts, the right-handed pitcher went 5-5, with a 4.39 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.
Although Latos was an experienced pitcher, his lack of production and unlucky timing ultimately led to his departure. The Virginia native was critical of Mattingly for keeping him on a short leash, which certainly did not help his chances. On August 18, the former San Diego Padre was sent to the bullpen in order to maximize the number of starts by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, thus keeping him out of action for 16 days.
When Latos was about to get a chance to prove he still belonged on a postseason-caliber team, he suffered a neck injury that caused him to miss the start, critically hurting his chances. “Then when he was going to get the start in Anaheim and the neck thing popped up, so that timing wasn’t good,” Mattingly said.
“Timing was part of it, and part of it was he really didn’t pitch that well. It just didn’t work out for whatever reason.”