Marlins @ Dodgers April 23, 2018: Walker’s Starting DeBuehler

(Via)

With their win last night, the Dodgers finally crawled back to .500 for the first time since April 1st, when they were 2-2. They have a prime opportunity to achieve a winning record for the first time this season, as Don Mattingly and the Miami Marlins make their only trip to Los Angeles for a three-game series. The Marlins are 5-16 and coming off four straight losses and seven losses in their last eight games.

Marlins
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
1B
Rojas
CF
Taylor
C
Realmuto
SS
Hernandez
2B
Castro
LF
Kemp
3B
Anderson
1B
Bellinger
LF
Maybin
C
Grandal
RF
Shuck
RF
Puig
CF
Brinson 2B Barnes
SS
Rivera
3B
Farmer
P
Garcia (L)
P
Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler gets the spot start tonight in place of Rich Hill, who was placed on the Disabled List last week with finger inflammation. It’ll be Buehler’s first career Major League start after making eight relief appearances last September. Buehler allowed at least one baserunner in every relief outing last year and allowed runs in four of his eight outings, including a rough outing in which he allowed a single, two walks and a grand slam while only recording one out. Buehler has thrown 13 innings at Triple A-OKC so far this season and allowed four runs (three earned) while striking out 16 and walking four. Command has been the issue with Buehler, and even though he doesn’t issue a ton of walks, he needs to get that under control to pitch deeper into games. Buehler was the number one prospect on Dustin’s list.

Bob Welch tossed 140 Minor League innings in 1977-78 and made his Major League debut in June 1978. His first three outings were scoreless relief appearances, and Welch tossed six scoreless innings in his first start on June 30th against the Cincinnati Reds. Welch went on to start 13 games in 1978 and he posted a 2.22 ERA as a starter.

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With a lefty on the mound for Miami, Corey Seager sits tonight and Enrique Hernandez gets the start at shortstop. The Dodgers also roll out a three-catcher lineup with Austin Barnes at second and Kyle Farmer at third, along with Yasmani Grandal behind the plate. This is the first time the Dodgers have rolled out a lineup with all three catchers this season. If Bueher’s name wasn’t so punnable, this would have been my headline. Blame him, not me.

For the Marlins, Jarlin Garcia gets his third start of the season. The Marlins had planned to use him as a starter out of Spring Training, but needed him for six relief innings in the second game of the season and four relief innings in the seventh game of the season. Garcia finally made his first Major League start on April 11th, and held the Mets to two walks and no hits over six innings before being pulled with 77 pitches. What kind of manager would pull a starter from a no-hitter? Garcia’s second start went nearly as well, as he allowed one hit and no runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees. He did walk three batters in the first inning and five batters overall, but kept the Yankees off the board for his first win as a starter. Garcia has had success, but his 16.9 K% and 14.3 BB% coupled with a .096 BABIP suggests he’s had some decent luck so far this season.

Justin Bour is the notable omission for the Marlins lineup, mostly because he’s one of like four Marlins I knew before this thread. He sits as old friend Miguel Rojas starts at first base and hits leadoff. Lewis Brinson is the fun name in the lineup. The top prospect has struggled so far this year, but hit three home runs in their recent four-game series in Milwaukee.

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Buehler’s promotion cost the Dodgers one piece of their starting depth.

Wilmer Font has been designated. Font made the Opening Day roster as he was out of remaining options and pitched decently early on before the wheels fell off. In his second outing of the season, Font was the final reliever available and threw four scoreless innings, only to blow the game in the 15th after the Dodgers took the lead. His next outing came in a similarly long game, but Font failed to record an out before squandering a 14th-inning Dodger lead in San Francisco. Font got lit up at home against the A’s and allowed a couple runs against the Diamondbacks before putting up a scoreless inning in San Diego.

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Hill’s injury opened the door for Buehler, but he probably won’t be out much longer. Hill reportedly said he could have started last Friday, so Buehler’s call up might be for only one start. The Dodgers will be awarded a 26th man on Saturday for their day/night double header in San Francisco, so it’s entirely possible that Buehler gets demoted after tonight and recalled to make one of the starts on Saturday.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.