Rangers @ Dodgers, June 17, 2015: Weird That A Six-Man Bullpen Feels Thin

Split home-and-home series are weird, because after two games in Texas, now the Dodgers and Rangers are kicking off two back in Los Angeles. Sure, whatever.

Rangers
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles, Ca.
RF
Choo
RF
Puig
SS
Andrus
CF
Heisey
LF
Gallo
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Fielder
2B
Kendrick
3B
Rosales
3B
Turner
2B
Odor
LF
Van Slyke
C
Corporan
SS
Hernandez
CF
Martin
C
Ellis
P
Rodriguez (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

News, though: Scott Van Slyke is back! Out since May 30 with sore back, Van Slyke returns today and is in the lineup in left field, hitting sixth. (Like you should even ask about Alex Guerrero. Come on.) Joc Pederson and Jimmy Rollins get the night off against lefty Wandy Rodriguez; what’s fun about that is that Yasiel Puig hits leadoff. Could that be a sign of things to come?

But while it seemed certain that Chris Heisey would lose his spot, he’s instead covering for Pederson in center field. Instead, Chris Hatcher hits the DL with an oblique strain, which is likely to put him down for a few weeks. That puts the team down to six relievers, which is expected to last for one night only, and is probably another reason why Heisey and Hernandez are both starting tonight, because it seems very likely that one of them heads back to the minors (Heisey could refuse, but wouldn’t likely forfeit his salary) to make room. But for who? There’s no shortage of rehabbing relievers:

Joel PeraltaPaco Rodriguez, Pedro Baez and Brandon League are all in the midst of minor league rehab assignments and figure to join the Dodgers within the next week or so. Rodriguez was scheduled to pitch Wednesday night for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Peralta and Baez were to pitch Friday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and League is to pitch Saturday for Oklahoma City.

Which one, though? Possibly Rodriguez, but if the Dodgers want to give him a few more days to rehab, Matt West and Daniel Coulombe are both options for short-term callups before being replaced by one of the above. (Ian Thomas is also on the 40-man, but he threw six shutout innings today, and Joe Wieland feels unlikely for that role.) In the meantime, the six-man bullpen — Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Juan Nicasio, Adam Liberatore, Josh Ravin, and Yimi Garcia — are in the best possible situation, because Brett Anderson gave eight innings yesterday, and Clayton Kershaw is on the mound today. Could be worse. Could certainly be worse.

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.