Diamondbacks @ Dodgers April 19, 2014: Bolsinger?

dodger_stadium_openingday2013Tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks will at least have an interesting start. The Diamondbacks’ starter is Michael Bolsinger, who I’d never heard of before this week. Bolsinger was called up to replace the struggling Trevor Cahill and is being tasked with helping to fix the Diamondbacks’ rotation. So far this season, Diamondbacks starters have a 7.26 ERA, nearly two runs worse than the closest team. That includes Wade Miley‘s one run performance last night.

Bolsinger isn’t really a prospect, but is a 26 year old pitcher making his first career start. In his first career major league game earlier this week, he allowed two runs in three relief innings. The most notable thing about Bolsinger might be that he isn’t top prospect Archie Bradley, which stirred up a bit of controversy earlier this week. From the Diamondbacks’ point of view, calling up Bradley for a season like this (and starting his service time clock) doesn’t make a lot of sense. Nick Piecoro of Azcentral Sports has a good interview with Bolsinger here.

DBacks
Dodgers 
5:10pm PT
Los Angeles, CA
CF
Parra
2B
Gordon
2B
Hill
LF
Crawford
1B
Goldschmidt
SS
Ramirez
C
Montero
1B
Gonzalez
RF
Ross
CF
Kemp
3B
Prado
RF
Ethier
LF
Trumbo
3B
Uribe
SS
Owings
C
Butera
P
Bolsinger (R)
P
Haren (R)

With a rookie starter going, it’s worth looking up how well the Dodgers have done against pitchers as new as Bolsinger. The perception among many fans is that the team generally has trouble hitting brand new pitchers. Since 2010, the Dodgers have faced a starter throwing his first or second career game ten times (the most recent was Mike Kickham last year). In those ten games, the Dodgers have scored 30 runs in 52-2/3 innings. That doesn’t really match the perception, and could be good news for the struggling offense.

Facing Bolsinger is more or less the standard right-handed pitcher lineup (Drew Butera gets the start at catcher), with one notable exception: Yasiel Puig has the night off. With the current outfield rotation, and since Ethier and Crawford have started the last two games on the bench, the choice of who to sit today came down to Puig or Matt Kemp. Of those two, I really think that the playing time is more important for Puig, so Mattingly’s decision is a bit puzzling.

After a busy night for the bullpen (as shown below this post), it’s important that Dan Haren makes it deep into this game. He looked pretty shaky during his last start, which was also against the Diamondbacks. Haren did make it nearly six innings, but it took 110 pitches to get there and he allowed five runs and six extra-base hits.

Tonight’s game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (in addition to SNLA), which is good news for those of you without Time Warner. I also really enjoy the earlier start times on Saturday, though I’m sure we’ll hear about shadows a few times at the beginning of the game.

According to Eric Stephen, Clayton Kershaw will throw to hitters tomorrow. The team still hasn’t set a timetable for Kershaw’s return or rehab starts, but it seems that he’s progressing nicely.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.