Dodgers @ Padres September 29, 2016: What’s the plan for Urías?

Dodgers
Padres
6:10 PM PST
San Diego
1B
Kendrick
CF
Margot
SS
Culberson
LF
Jay
3B
Turner
1B
Myers
RF
Puig
3B
Solarte
C
Ruiz
RF
Renfroe
2B
Hernández
C
Norris
LF
Segedin 2B  Asuaje
CF
Pederson
SS
Sardinas
P
Urías (L)
P
Friedrich (L)

Of the many uncertainties about the Dodgers’ postseason roster, one of the questions that looms largest is who will fill the role of fourth starter, if necessary. Tonight, one of the prime candidates for that spot will take the mound.

The Dodgers’ use of Julio Urías this season has been somewhat confounding. He’s been shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the majors, and between the starting rotation and the bullpen. Even with sparing use in September — he’s thrown just 11 innings this month (two starts, one relief appearance), and last pitched in a game eight days ago — it now appears as though he’s going to surpass his rough innings limit. From Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:

Already, Urias has pitched 119 innings this season between the major and the minor leagues, up from 80 1/3 last year and 87 2/3 in 2014. Urias’ agent, Scott Boras, said he wanted to limit the increase in Urias’ workload to somewhere in the 30- to 40-innings range.

If it weren’t for that limitation, Urías would certainly seem to be one of the most attractive options the Dodgers have for postseason fourth starter, both in terms of health and ability. But then again, if Urías is starting tonight, does that indicate the Dodgers have basically decided to scrap the innings plan?

We’ll probably — well, possibly — know a lot more after tonight, and tonight’s results might have a lot to do with the Dodgers’ decision.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers are facing a lefty, Christian Friedrich. The 2016 Dodgers may have struggled against lefties overall, but they have not struggled against Friedrich. In three starts against L.A. this year, Friedrich has allowed nine runs on 19 hits and seven walks in 12 2/3 innings. Friedrich has a 4.66 ERA (4.23 FIP) and a 1.42 WHIP in 123.2 innings pitched on the season. The Padres are 8-14 in his starts.

Friedrich will face a righty-heavy lineup, which features things like Howie Kendrick at first base (Adrián González has been dealing with a sinus infection) and Charlie Culberson batting second. What’s perhaps most notable, though, is the fact that Joc Pederson is actually getting a start against a lefty. Pederson has a mere 68 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers this season.

If the Dodgers lose tonight, it’ll be just the third time they’ve been swept all season (and one of those “sweeps” was a two-game series in Anaheim). It would be nice if they could avoid it, though of course it doesn’t actually matter much at this point. The Nationals won earlier today, so the Dodgers now need six of seven remaining decisions to go their way in order to gain home field advantage in the NLDS. Maybe don’t get your hopes up too high for that.

—–

Andrew Toles‘ apparently leg injury yesterday turned out to just be a cramp, and he’ll be on the NLDS roster:

(Which suggests that Andre Ethier will not make the cut.)

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 Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for MLB.com. She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.