Dodgers @ Pirates June 7, 2018: It’s so early! Also, happy Dennis Santana day!

(Via)

The Dodgers and Pirates are playing the rubber game of this 3-game series waaaay to early in the morning. After slugfest last night, we might see a little more “normal” baseball today.

Dodgers
Pirates
9:35 a.m.
Pittsburgh
LF
Pederson
2B
Harrison
3B
Muncy
RF
Polanco
C
Grandal
CF
Marte
RF
Kemp
1B
Bell
1B
Bellinger
LF
Dickerson
SS
Taylor
3B
Moran
2B
Valera C Diaz
CF
Hernandez
SS
Mercer
P
Santana (R)
P
Taillon (R)

Dennis Santana is making his first MLB start after pitching in relief on Friday in Colorado. Unlike Caleb Ferguson — who clearly isn’t ready for the majors and has been optioned back to Triple-A — Santana is a more advanced and, frankly, better prospect. So, I’m not as concerned with him handling things as I was with Ferguson.

Don’t get be wrong, Ferguson is a really good pitching prospect and he showed glimpses of that last night, but at 21 and without a true swing-and-miss offering (the curveball showed pretty poorly last night, but it’s usually better), it was a tough assignment for him. More seasoning in Triple-A will do him some good.

Daniel wrote about Santana’s first outing and why there were some reasons for optimism, despite getting hit around a bit in Coors Field.

This is a pretty standard getaway day lineup. Breyvic Valera is getting the start at second base for Logan Forsythe, which is fine. Justin Turner is sitting again today after missing Monday’s game as well. His wrist is bothering him and while it might be a normal part of the recovery, it’s still a bummer. He has just an 86 wRC+ since his return from the fractured wrist, so an extra day off here and there isn’t the worst thing. Matt Kemp and Cody Bellinger have both had big series to date, and we’ll see if they can continue that trend against the Pirates’ best starter in Jameson Taillon.

The 26-year-old has been a bit up-and-down this season, but he’s still pitching to a 3.63 FIP, getting nearly 53 percent ground balls and striking out 22 percent of the hitters he has faced. It’ll be a tough assignment for the Dodgers this morning/afternoon.

——

After Tony Cingrani‘s early exit last night, it’s not surprising to see him on the disabled list. Sigh. Edward Paredes takes his spot. And Pedro Baez‘s demotion to Triple-A was short-lived, as he’s back taking Ferguson’s spot. A couple fresh arms in the bullpen could help against a potential short outing from Santana.

I guess this is good news. Who really knows at this point.

The sooner the Dodgers get Kenta Maeda back, the better. But there’s no reason to rush him, either.

Looking ahead…

The #Barves are good, but the Dodgers have the pitching advantage in, arguably, all three games, with the only question being Sunday’s game because Sean Newcomb has been good this season (but Ross Stripling has been better!).

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.