Carlos Monasterios, the Rule 5 pick from the Phillies (via the Mets) who picked up his first major league win last Saturday in Washington DC, will have another milestone this Saturday against Pittsburgh, as he will make his first MLB start.
The injury to Vicente Padilla has jumbled the Dodger rotation, to the point that the only options on the active roster to start Saturday were Charlie Haeger, who has been ineffective and would be on short rest for the second straight start, Monasterios, or Ramon Ortiz. Neither James McDonald nor Scott Elbert have pitched effectively with Albuquerque, and McDonald is just returning from the disabled list with a broken fingernail. The other option, Josh Towers, is, well, Josh Towers.
Monasterios has not given up a run in his last four outings, a total of 8 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA on the season to 1.69 (with a 4.33 FIP and 4.90 x-FIP). He has still mostly pitched only in low leverage situations, but his 2 2/3-inning relief appearance on Saturday -- the fifth-highest leverage outing by a Dodger reliever this year -- was enough to earn him the Saturday start.
This will be only the second career start for Monasterios above Class A. Monasterios began the spring as a long shot candidate for the fifth starter position, but his longest outing of the spring was three innings on March 12.
Thanks to BHSportsGuy, who pointed out the last time a Rule 5 pick made his first career start for the Dodgers was D.J. Houlton on June 4, 2005.
By the way, Saturday is True Blue LA night at Dodger Stadium.