The Los Angeles Dodgers have been forced to shuffle through Triple-A for extra starters due to an injured Hyun Jin-Ryu. Although the Korean native threw a bullpen session on Sunday, his return is still largely unknown.
So far, three pitchers – David Huff, Mike Bolsinger and Scott Baker – have each been called upon in that order to start one game. Baker, who had the most recent outing of the three, suffered a loss despite allowing just three runs on four hits over seven innings. Unfortunately, two of those hits were solo home runs as the Dodgers were only able to score one run in the afternoon affair.
What the future holds for Baker remains unknown, especially with Brandon McCarthy leaving his last start early due to elbow discomfort and the possibility of the team needing another starter on top of filling Ryu’s spot in the rotation.
While Baker has seen the spot starters before him placed back in Triple-A Oklahoma City, he shared the disappointment he’ll have if that indeed is the case, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
There’s always a little disappointment (being sent down). I’m not pitching in Oklahoma City to pitch in Oklahoma City. Ultimately, this is where we all want to be. I’ve had some injuries that kind of made that tough. But I’m healthy. If the opportunity continues to present itself, I’m going to do the best I can.”
Perhaps working in Baker’s favor is manager Don Mattingly did like what he saw from the veteran starter, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
I thought he was good,” said manager Don Mattingly. “He gave us a chance to win, which is what we ask of all of our starters. Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle and you can ride it. We’ll see how it goes.”
Despite the lack of run support, Baker showed the organization he potentially can fill a starter’s role if needed. It was announced Monday Baker was named the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week thanks in large part to nearly throwing a perfect seven-inning game.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly Discusses Catching Situation