Red Sox @ Dodgers Aug. 6, 2016: At Least It’s Not A Knuckleball

Red Sox
1:10 p.m. PT
Los Angeles
RF Betts  2B Kendrick
2B Holt SS Seager
SS Bogaerts  3B Turner
1B Ortiz 1B Gonzalez
CF Bradley CF Hernandez
C Leon RF Reddick
3B Shaw LF Van Slyke
LF Benintendi C Ellis
Rodriguez (L)
Stripling (R)

After last night’s beating at the hands of the knuckleball, the Dodgers will move on and try their luck against Eduardo Rodriguez. The Red Sox acquired Rodriguez when they traded Andrew Miller away to the Orioles. He is a very promising left-handed pitcher with good raw stuff, but so far in 2016 he’s had trouble putting together the pieces, posting an ERA near six and a FIP that’s not much better in his first ten starts. Rodriguez is a fly ball pitcher and he also tends to get bitten by the longball. The Red Sox demoted him to AAA Pawtucket in June, but he only stayed down for three weeks due to other gremlins in their rotation. Since his return, Rodriguez has been much better: he’s allowed a 2.63 ERA and 4.00 FIP in 24 innings pitched. Rodriguez throws a fastball in the mid 90s, a slider in the upper 80s, and a two-seam fastball in the 93-95 range. He will also occasionally mix in a change, though he has been phasing it out since his return from the minors.

The Dodgers are countering Rodriguez with a lineup adopted for left-handed pitching. Strangely, Josh Reddick is still playing, despite his long-lasting troubles hitting southpaws. The Dodgers are 27th in non-pitcher wRC+ against left-handed pitching (just 89, good enough for a .233/.312/.378 batting line), so inserting another hitter with lefty platoon issues is a questionable move. It’s also confusing that Adrian Gonzalez is hitting fifth against right-handed pitchers and fourth against left-handers, but the Dodgers’ issues against southpaws go beyond batting order.

As expected, Bud Norris was moved to the disabled list to make room for Ross Stripling‘s return. Stripling may get an extended shot in the rotation this time, because it’s not obvious who is going to take his place. Stripling doesn’t profile much worse than Norris, but the Dodgers are now one starting pitcher injury closer to running out of replacements. To make matters worse, Rich Hill will not be able to make his Dodger debut tomorrow as planned. Apparently his blister is still giving him issues. Brandon McCarthy will start instead.

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About Daniel Brim

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Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.