Dodgers @ Braves August 11, 2014: The Kevin Correia Era

Kevin Correia. Really. 34 years old in two weeks, a fourth-round pick of the Giants (of course) 12 years ago, a pitcher with a total inability to miss bats, good but not elite control, no particular standout skill in getting grounders or limiting homers, is starting for the Dodgers tonight.

Dodgers
Braves
4:10 p.m. PT
Atlanta, Ga.
2B
Gordon
SS
Bonifacio
CF
Puig
2B
La Stella
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Freeman
RF
Kemp
LF
J.Upton
LF
Crawford
RF
Heyward
3B
Turner
C
Gattis
C
Ellis
3B
Johnson
SS
Rojas
CF
B.Upton
P
Correia (R)
P
Teheran (R)

This is hardly thrilling, clearly. It’s partially a response to Josh Beckett‘s trip to the disabled list. It’s partially a response to the fact that Dan Haren is 46 innings short of his vesting option, and about 39 innings short of it not looking like the Dodgers are just trying to prevent that vesting option. It’s partially about giving everyone some rest — in the midst of a long stretch without an off day, Correia is merely pushing everyone back, rather than replacing anyone — and it’s partially about the fact that as boring as Correia is, it still doesn’t suddenly make Zach Lee or Red Patterson viable options. Considering how often the Braves strike out, perhaps it’s like the completely movable object against the easily resistible force.

I certainly won’t go so far as to say that anything is guaranteed, but the FanGraphs playoffs odds have the Dodgers at 97.1%, with only the Athletics as better bets to make the postseason. Correia isn’t going to start in October, barring disaster. He’s just a guy, in August, in Atlanta. Good for him. (Pedro Baez was demoted to Triple-A to make room.)

* * *

The lineup, today, is more or less the usual. Miguel Rojas starts at shortstop, as he should. Yasiel Puig is back in at center. Juan Uribe gets a day, so Justin Turner plays third. Carl Crawford starts in left, as usual, and while I’m indifferent between him and Andre Ethier at this point — neither are hitting, and Crawford can at least run — Don Mattingly‘s reasoning is, uh, interesting:

“Carl, before he got hurt, was probably swinging the bat better than anyone we had,” Mattingly said. “I feel like Carl’s going to get back to that.”

Crawford injured his ankle on May 27. When he went on the disabled list, he was hitting .267/.293/.400. That’s a 96 wRC+. That is below-average. I think we’d probably take a 96 wRC+ from him now — he’s at 73 for the season — but it’s pretty hard to take that at face value. Then again, we all know better now than to actually listen to anything a member of management says in public.

Maybe he’s on to something here, though:

“If you really look at our numbers, he had as high a percentage of balls hit on the nose as anyone we’ve got,” Mattingly said.

Line drive rates aren’t perfect, and I assume the Dodgers have their own in-house metrics, but when you look at the FanGraphs rates: Matt Kemp is one, Crawford is two. Then again, Drew Butera is three. Who knows anything about anything.

* * *

Remember: Tonight’s game is on ESPN and should not be blacked out.

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 Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello

Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.