With Joe Wieland taking the mound on Saturday night to start for Triple-A Oklahoma City, the makes it fairly clear that Scott Baker will be called up to start for the Dodgers in Sunday's series finale against the Padres at Petco Park in San Diego.
Wieland was scratched from his Friday start with OKC, which led to some speculation that he might be getting the call for Sunday, and reported as such by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. But it turns out Wieland was scratched on Friday so he could start in Baker's place on Saturday, against the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) in the first game of a homestand.
The Dodgers signed Baker to a minor league contract on April 3 after he was released by the Yankees at the end of spring training.
Baker has excelled in Oklahoma City, allowing only two runs in 17 innings (a 1.06 ERA), with 10 hits and just one walk allowed, with 16 strikeouts in three starts. In his last start, on Monday in Iowa, Baker came within one out of a seven-inning perfect game in the first game of a doubleheader, settling instead for a two-hit shutout.
The team will need to make a corresponding move to add Baker to the 40-man roster. As for the active roster move...
Reliever Joel Peralta said he has "dead arm," no pain but no shoulder strength. DL possible.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 25, 2015
The Dodgers are using Baker's start on Sunday to give an extra day of rest to both Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw, who will start Monday and Tuesday, respectively, against the Giants. But after Zack Greinke starts Wednesday, the Dodgers have an off day followed by 17 straight days with a game, and 26 games in a 27-day span.
The only question is whether the Dodgers keep Baker around to make subsequent starts, or if Sunday is a one-time deal followed by DFA roulette. Because Baker is out of options — having used them in 2005, 2006 and 2007 with Minnesota — they would have to designate him for assignment to send him back down to the minors, an assignment which Baker could also refuse.
So far the Dodgers have had success in keeping pitchers David Huff, Ryan Dennick and Daniel Corcino after each was designated for assignment then ran through waivers unclaimed. Xavier Cedeno, who was designated for assignment on Friday, is currently in the middle of that transactional cycle.