John Ely will make his first career start at Dodger Stadium tonight
After giving up 11 runs to the Brewers in back-to-back games started by Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, the Dodgers send John Ely to the bump tonight, hoping he won't take as many lumps as his rotation counterparts in his second major league start. I was struck by this comment about Ely by Tony Jackson of ESPN LA:
No matter how he pitches against the Brewers, Ely probably will be optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque after the game to clear a roster spot for Jeff Weaver, who is coming off the disabled list.
If Ely gets optioned, that will leave yet another vacancy in the rotation for next Tuesday. Weaver himself won't be a candidate to start, since his role will be situational relief. Charlie Haeger is starting Saturday, which leaves only Carlos Monasterios and Ramon Ortiz as options currently on the 25-man roster. Another candidate is James McDonald, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday for Albuquerque. McDonald could be skipped, perhaps throwing a bullpen session instead, so he can be ready to pitch Tuesday. But recalling McDonald would require another roster move, perhaps designating Ramon Ortiz for assignment, or placing George Sherrill on the disabled list.
While I am concerned about just who will start next Tuesday, last place teams don't have the luxury of thinking about any other game than the current one. The Dodgers, at 11-16 at the bottom of the National League West, are off to one of their worst starts since the franchise moved to Los Angeles. Only three seasons have been worse through 27 games:
|Worst LA Dodger 27-Game Starts|
That is not exactly the most inspiring list. Things aren't going to get better overnight, but it would be nice if the club's fortunes turned around soon.
- Manny Ramirez will play in his second tune-up game tonight for Class A Inland Empire in Lake Elsinore, before being activated Saturday
- Great news: Legendary Brewers' announcer and actor Bob Uecker was released from the hospital today following heart surgery last week, per Bailey Stephens of MLB.com
- Baseball lost another legend this week, as Hall of Famer and former Phillies' great Robin Roberts passed away today at the age of 83. Roberts allowed more home runs (505) than any other pitcher in baseball history.
- Speaking of home runs allowed, tonight's starter for the Brewers, , is tied for the National League lead with seven home runs allowed, in his 29 1/3 innings of work
- Ryan Braun has 15 hits, including seven extra-base hits, in 32 career at-bats at Dodger Stadium, hitting .469/.469/.844
Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.
Game Time: 7:10pm
TV: Prime Ticket