After exploding for six runs in the sixth inning of Monday’s 11-4 win over the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers hope to have left enough in the tank for what figures to be a long day. Making up for a rainout in mid-May, the Dodgers and Rockies start a split doubleheader Tuesday at 12:10 p.m. PT.
In the days leading up to the twinbill, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn’t reveal which pitcher would start the first game. Triple-A Oklahoma City’s starting rotation aligned so that Zach Lee and Joe Wieland figured to be called up when the Dodgers are permitted to add a 26th man to the active roster.
However after the club’s win Monday night, it was announced Juan Nicasio would take the ball against his former team. Nicasio made 14 starts with the Rockies last season, appearing in 33 games total. He finished 6-6 with a 5.38 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 93.2 innings pitched.
The Dodgers acquired the 28-year-old right-hander from the Rockies in November in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later; the Dodgers later sent Minor League outfielder Noel Cuevas to Colorado in December.
Although Nicasio spent the majority of his career as a starter, Mattingly said in spring the plan was to convert him to a full-fledged relief pitcher. As such, Tuesday marks Nicasio’s first start with the Dodgers. He’s thrown 21 innings over 16 appearances and last pitched Friday — tossing 1.1 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Nicasio’s longest outing this season is three innings on May 2 and he’s twice thrown two innings. He’s allowed just one run in his last 10 appearances (13.2 innings) and collected 18 strikeouts. Nicasio is 13-9 with a 5.24 ERA at Coors Field in 47 games (36 starts).
The Rockies counter with Jorge De La Rosa, who has been Jekyll and Hyde against the Dodgers this season. The left-hander’s Mother’s Day start against Los Angeles was a rocky one as De La Rosa issued six walks and allowed five runs on five hits in just four innings.
De La Rosa next faced the Dodgers six days later at Dodger Stadium and thoroughly shut them down. The Mexico native didn’t issue any walks and allowed just two hits in 7.1 innings; he was removed at 95 pitches after appearing to tweak his groin.
Rather than calling up a pitcher from Oklahoma City’s starting rotation, the Dodgers opted for Ian Thomas, who was part of the six-player trade with the Atlanta Braves. Dodgers president of baseball operations said the intention is to stretch Thomas out as a starter, but his lone appearance with the organization was 2.1 innings out of the bullpen on Thursday.
CF Joc Pederson
RF Chris Heisey
1B Adrian Gonzalez
2B Howie Kendrick
3B Justin Turner
LF Alex Guerrero
SS Kiké Hernandez
C Austin Barnes
P Juan Nicasio
CF Charlie Blackmon
2B D.J. LeMahieu
RF Carlos Gonzalez
3B Nolan Arenado
1B Ben Paulsen
C Michael McKenry
SS Daniel Descalso
LF Brandon Barnes
P Jorge De La Rosa