Dodgers @ Cubs Sept. 20, 2014: More Morning Baseball, And Who Should Start Tomorrow?

More morning baseball… maybe. Check out this forecast:

https://twitter.com/jphoornstra/status/513332480817262593/

Dodgers
Cubs
10:05 a.m.
Chicago
2B
Gordon
LF
Coghlan
CF
Puig
SS
Baez
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Rizzo
RF
Kemp
RF
Soler
SS
Ramirez
3B
Valbuena
3B
Turner
CF
Alcantara
LF
Van Slyke
2B
Watkins
C
Butera
C
Baker
P
Hernandez (R)
P
Doubront (L)

With a bullpen game looming, a rainout today is pretty much the worst case scenario. The Dodger roster would be dead without the expanded September bullpens (now five games since the last time a starter went more than five innings) but a double header and a bullpen game would weigh on even the largest of bullpens. Then again, the forecast also calls for the wind to be blowing out for Roberto Hernandez, who can’t keep the ball in the park recently, so that isn’t great either.

Speaking of bullpen games, I’m starting to develop an opinion that the team will never, ever do, but I have a venue to state it: Kenley Jansen should start tomorrow (the team is still undecided – or they won’t tell the media which is more likely). He shouldn’t pitch more than an inning, but it will guarantee that he gets used. Really, the Dodgers should “work backwards” and use all of their best relievers up front. Once they’re done with that, they have enough platoon options to try to play with the matchups as frequently as possible. They should worry about getting to a save situation before wondering who closes. It’s definitely an option which will improve the team’s chances more than, say, running Jamey Wright out there until he gets tired. It still won’t happen, though.

Facing the Dodgers this morning is lefty Felix Doubront. He’s spent a lot of time in AAA this season, looking like a bit of a AAAA type player when he has reached the majors. He’s been a bit better for the Cubs than he was for the Red Sox in terms of results: in his 18 innings (three starts) he has allowed just three runs and has a 3.13 FIP. Those numbers are a little hollow, though, as he’s struck out just six batters and walked four in that same span. Doubront relies mostly on his fastball, sinker, and cutter. He averages around 90 with his hard pitches (a bit less with the cutter) but can touch 93 or so on occasion.

With the lefty starter going, Carl Crawford gets the morning off. Juan Uribe is also getting a day off with “minor tightness in side” (or maybe his groin) but even without the tightness it’s a good idea to rest him every once in a while. Justin Turner‘s BABIP luck notwithstanding, he’s still a great substitute to put in Uribe’s place.

There is good news on the injury front, as well. Hyun-jin Ryu has begun to throw baseballs, submaximally. The Dodgers still have not said if Ryu will be ready in time for the playoffs, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

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.