Rockies @ Dodgers July 6, 2022: White and Co. look for sweep

Dodger Stadium
Photo by: Cody Bashore

After two consecutive wins against the Colorado Rockies (35-46), the Dodgers (51-29) will look to sweep Colorado and earn their seventh win in the last eight games. The team currently holds a 5.5 game lead in the NL West, and with the Padres (47-36) off today, the Dodgers could bump their lead up to 6 games. Mitch White will go up against the right-handed Jose Urena, who is making just his fifth appearance of the season, first with the Rockies, and his first start since 2021 with the Detroit Tigers.

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7:10 PM Los Angeles
RF Blackmon (L) RF Betts
LF Bryant SS T. Turner
2B Rodgers 1B Freeman (L)
DH Cron 2B Muncy (L)
3B McMahon (L) 3B J. Turner
SS Iglesias DH Lamb (L)
CF Grichuk CF Bellinger (L)
1B Montero LF Lux (L)
C Serven C Barnes
P Ureña (R) P White (R)

Austin Barnes will catch tonight and bat ninth as Will Smith will get the day off against Ureña who has had a rough past few years. It makes sense to rest him in this game. Jake Lamb will DH against the right-handed Ureña, while Gavin Lux is in left field. Max Muncy will bat cleanup once again after having his best offensive game of the season, going 2-2 with two walks, with his two hits being an RBI double, and a two-run home run. Justin Turner had two hits as well, with the two struggling middle of the order batters accounting for half of the eight hits the team had yesterday.

Muncy had an 84 wRC+ and .617 OPS prior to yesterday, and those are now up to 93 wRC+ and a .653 OPS. With two more hits yesterday, Justin Turner is now up to a 98 wRC+ and is approaching league average. Huge development for the offense if those two figure something out, with the top three of the order being who they are, with Smith heating up as well, and Lux continuing his impressive season. Cody Bellinger now owns the lowest wRC+ on the team at 84, but he provides elite defense and above average base running at a premium position.

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Here’s how Urena and White matchup. As Ureña has thrown just 7.2 innings this season, this is how he fared last year.

The Rockies will call Ureña up from Triple-A to start tonight’s game, as he’ll be entering the Colorado rotation as a replacement for Antonio Senzatela who was placed on the 15-day injured list last Saturday. Ureña signed a minor-league contract with the Rockies in mid-May, after being DFA’d by the Brewers in the beginning of May. He posted a 3.52 ERA and 1.57 WHIP with five strikeouts and three walks in 7.2 innings out of the bullpen in Milwaukee. Since being signed by Colorado, Ureña has a 7.29 ERA and 2.14 WHIP across 21 innings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. This will be his first appearance in the majors since April 26. He’s worked five and six innings in his last two minor-league outings, so he could potentially work more than a few frames if things go well.

Simply put, he really hasn’t had a good season since 2018 in Miami, where he posted a 3.98 ERA, 4.17 FIP, and a 1.18 WHIP over 174.0 innings. Last year also wasn’t great for him, posting a 5.81 ERA and 5.02 FIP over 100 innings with the Tigers. Of 129 starters with at least 100 innings, he was 123rd in ERA, 110th in FIP, 124th in strikeout rate, and 127th in strikeout to walk rate. He throws a sinker in the mid 90’s half the time, mixing in a mid 80’s slider and high 80’s changeup as his predominant offspeed pitches. This is the kind of pitcher you’d bet on the Dodgers to beat up, but the offense has had poor showings against struggling pitchers before.

White was initially slated to start yesterday, but Ryan Pepiot made the start instead and earned his first career win, as Dave Roberts wanted the rest of the rotation to get an additional day of rest in advance of their respective outings this coming week. White should get an extra day of rest prior to his next start as well, which should be his last before the All-Star break. His last time out he went 4.2 innings allowing one run on six hits and one walk while striking out three. The team would love to get five solid innings from him, and hopefully the offense would put him in a position to win and take a load off the bullpen. It’s a small sample size for White, but his 3.93 ERA would be 46th among qualified starters, slightly behind Yu Darvish (3.53), 2021 AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray (3.62), and just ahead of new Padre Sean Manaea (4.18). His 3.84 FIP would be 38th, just ahead of Charlie Morton (3.85), Ray (3.92) and Julio Urias (3.94). His 22.8% strikeout rate would be even with that of NL Cy Young frontrunner Sandy Alcantara, and just behind Urias (23.9%), Max Fried (23.9%), and Justin Verlander (24.2%). All this can change with one good or bad start, but he’s been more than serviceable so far.

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This is good for Chris Taylor as he’d been struggling mightily prior to his foot issue and likely needed the time off anyways. They’ll need him healthy later in the season, so giving him time to get better is key.

Makes sense as to how the team would cover left field in the meantime.

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The Dodgers’ bullpen could use a boost, and if Caleb Ferguson is healthy that’d be a big help.

Once again I am hoping Zach McKinstry can play well at the Major League level.

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First pitch is at 7:10 PM PDT on SNLA and MLB Network.

About Allan Yamashige

Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!