Rangers @ Dodgers June 13, 2018: Maeda Returns

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers continued their torrid hitting last night, scoring seven runs in the fourth inning off Bartolo Colon en route to a 12-5 victory over the Texas Rangers. Caleb Ferguson ran into some trouble, but overall pitched much better than in his debut last Wednesday. Daniel Corcino recorded a three-inning save, putting Kenley Jansen‘s role in danger IMO. Today, the Dodgers look for a third straight victory and a fourth straight series win.

Rangers
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
LF
Choo
SS
Taylor
CF
DeShields
3B
Turner
RF
Mazara
LF
Kemp
3B
Beltré
CF
Hernández
SS
Profar
1B
Bellinger
1B
Gallo
RF
Puig
C
Chirinos 2B Forsythe
2B
Odor
C
Barnes
P
Hamels (L)
P
Maeda (R)

Kenta Maeda returns to start for the first time since May 29th due to a hip strain. He only recorded five outs in that start against the Phillies and allowed two runs before leaving the game, so it’s easy to forget just how good Maeda was before going down. Maeda is no longer a qualified pitcher, but if we lower the number of innings pitched to 50, Maeda ranks ninth in baseball in strikeout percentage. His 3.61 ERA isn’t quite as elite as his strikeout number, but Maeda’s been victimized by a .336 BABIP against, which is also the ninth-highest in baseball (min 50 innings). It’ll be interesting to see how healthy Maeda is and how deep he can go in the game, but having him back in the rotation is definitely a good thing.

Justin Turner is in the lineup for consecutive days, which is probably good news about his wrist. With a lefty starting for the Rangers, Joc Pederson, Max Muncy and Yasmani Grandal all sit.

For the Rangers, Cole Hamels takes the ball for the 14th time this season. The 34-year-old is 10 years younger than last night’s starter, but Hamels is still producing in his 13th Major League season. Hamels leads the Rangers in innings pitched this season at 79 1/3, and is also the only Ranger starter with a sub-4.00 ERA (3.68). He also currently has the worst FIP of his career (5.37), probably due to the fact that he’s allowing the highest hard-hit contact rate of his career at 44.8 percent. He’s gone at least six innings in nine of his 13 starts this season, including each of his six starts since the beginning of May. He lasted 7 1/3 innings in his last outing against Houston, but allowed five runs. Hamels is also tied for the league lead with 10 hit batters.

——

While Maeda returns tonight, another starter could return next week.

Rich Hill will throw a rehab game tomorrow for Single-A Rancho Cucomonga. If he survives it, he could be back in the rotation early next week when the Dodgers visit the Chicago Cubs.

——

Another starter’s fate could be determined by Hill’s rehab start.

Ferguson was not the roster move for Maeda’s activation. Ferguson starting in Chicago seems less-than-ideal, but another home start against the Giants wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

——

The roster move for Maeda was announced earlier.

Corcino threw 56 pitches last night to record the Dodgers’ first three-out save of the season, and has been sent back down.

——

Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session today.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I'm a writer that has blogged at a whole bunch of places about a whole bunch of sports. I was most recently writing for Chavez Ravine Fiends, but was also the former editor at Dodgers Way. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. At Long Beach, I covered the Dirtbags in the 2014 season as an assistant sports editor at the Daily 49er.