GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers have a split squad on Sunday, with a road game against the Giants in Scottsdale and a home game against the Rangers at Camelback Ranch. a Carlos Frias starts the road game for the Dodgers, hoping to make a case for inclusion on the opening day roster.
Frias was optioned to minor league camp on March 16, but the right-hander is still a candidate to start in place of the injured Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers need a fifth starter just once in their first 16 games, no later than April 14 against Seattle.
"We haven't got all the way through how we're going to situate that start, or how we're going to get to it. It's part of that 10-day recall thing. We haven't quite got to that part yet, but he would be one of the guys we talk about obviously," manager Don Mattingly said on Saturday. "It depends which route we take."
Because Frias' option won't technically begin until April 5, he couldn't be called up until April 15 unless replacing an injured player. So if the Dodgers want to use Frias for that one spot start, he would have to be placed on the opening day roster. Frias could fit in such a role because, unlike the also-optioned Joe Wieland, Mike Bolsinger or Zach Lee, Frias has relief experience, and could in theory be used in relief if needed for the first four or five games of the season.
Frias made two starts for the Dodgers in 2014 - one really good one and one really bad one - but also pitched 13 games in relief, putting up a 4.91 ERA in the bullpen but also with 25 strikeouts and six walks in 25⅔ innings, a 24-percent strikeout rate.
Another alternative for that April 14 start is to use a long reliever like David Huff for a spot start. Because Huff is on a minor league deal and not on the 40-man, the Dodgers wouldn't technically need to add him to the roster until the day he starts, so in theory the club could carry an extra position player for the first seven games of the regular season.
J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, Joel Peralta and Chris Hatcher are scheduled to pitch against the Rangers.
Nick Tepesch starts for Texas.
Juan Nicasio and Sergio Santos will pitch in relief against the Giants.
Matt Cain starts for San Francisco.
Dustin McGowan pitched an inning in a minor league intrasquad game on the back fields on Sunday morning, throwing back-to-back days.