Needing to clear room on the active roster for Sunday’s starter Mat Latos, the Los Angeles Dodgers optioned relief pitcher Yimi Garcia to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Garcia opened the season with the Dodgers and was sent down to the Minors on July 8.
Garcia then returned July 26 and appeared in six games, including one start in a bullpen game. On the season the right-hander has made 41 appearances, posting a 3.99 ERA, 3.42 FIP and 1.07 WHIP.
Garcia has totaled 54 strikeouts to nine walks and allowed six runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings pitched since last being recalled. He had early success this season, which in turn may have set expectations unfairly high. When the Dodgers first optioned Garcia to Triple-A manager Don Mattingly said it was a move designed to get the reliever a bit of a break.
Mattingly added Garcia very much remained part of the bullpen picture moving forward. However, his comments also came prior to the Dodgers acquiring right-hander Jim Johnson, among others, from the Atlanta Braves.
Latos, who was acquired by the Dodgers in their trade with the Miami Marlins, takes the mound Sunday for the first time since July 26 when he allowed three runs on six hits over six innings, suffering a loss to the San Diego Padres.
Latos is 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA, 3.35 FIP and 1.25 WHIP in 16 starts. A rough first two months of the season led to a stint on the disabled list for Latos. He’s been much improved since being reinstated, going 3-3 over his last seven starts (45.2 innings) with a 2.96 ERA and 43 to nine strikeout to walk ratio.
Over his career Latos has faced the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim just once — in 2013 when he was with the Cincinnati Reds. He allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings, but didn’t earn a decision. That season Latos didn’t earn a decision until his fifth start in, and began the year 6-0 with a 3.08 ERA through his first 14 starts.
Despite having spent the entirety of his seven-year career in the National League, Latos only has six career starts at Dodger Stadium. He’s 1-5 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, last starting there in 2013. He will wear No. 55 with the Dodgers.