After three starts as a Los Angeles Dodgers, right-hander Mat Latos wasn’t exactly earning rave reviews for his performance.
He started his Dodger career with six innings of one-run ball against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but then failed to make it five innings in each of his last two starts, allowing six and five runs, respectively. With three days off in a span of eight days, manager Don Mattingly has decided to go with a four-man bullpen for the time being and Latos has been moved to the bullpen.
According to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA, Mattingly discussed the decision and how Latos felt about it:
Mat’s a pro. He understands that we’ll try to line up our rotation the best way possible, and he acknowledged that he hasn’t pitched his best,” manager Don Mattingly said on Tuesday. “It gives him a chance to continue to work, and just be ready to go when we get there. Obviously we’re still going to need him.”
Now the Dodgers aren’t purposefully skipping Latos because he’s struggled, but it’s more of a focus on making sure Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke get the maximum number of starts the rest of the season.
Mattingly elaborated on that point and discussed how Latos will be used out of the pen:
It allows us to maximize the off days, basically Zack and Clayton, making sure they are getting as many turns around as we can,” Mattingly said. “[Latos] gives us a little length out of the pen, so we’ll use our guys just a little bit differently.”
The decision also lines up the Dodgers duo to face the San Francisco Giants at the turn of the month. Latos next start is tentatively scheduled for August 29 against the Chicago Cubs back at Dodger Stadium.