The Dodgers will continue to tap into their pitching depth for this weekend against the Mets at Citi Field. On Friday, Ian Thomas makes his first major league start, and will be the 13th different starting pitcher used by the Dodgers this season.
That's one more than last season, and the most by a Dodgers team since 1964.
If Zach Lee gets the call on Saturday, the Dodgers will reach 14 different starters for the first time since 1952. The only Dodgers team to use more starting pitchers was in 1944, with 19 starting pitchers used in the middle of World War II.
When the Dodgers acquired Thomas from Atlanta on May 27, the stated goal was to stretch him as a starter.
"His floor is as a good major league reliever who can get outs, and who also has a chance to pitch in our rotation or serve as depth for us," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said when Thomas was acquired.
Thomas made five starts in Triple-A, topping out at six innings on June 17, and lasted at least five innings three times. But his last start was July 2, and since then has been pitching in relief in between stints in the majors. His three outings since July 2 were two innings on July 7, one inning on July 12, and 2⅓ innings on July 17.
He will be pitching Friday on six days rest.
With the shutout by Clayton Kershaw on Thursday and the seven-inning performance by Mike Bolsinger on Wednesday in Atlanta, Thomas will be backed by a fully-rested bullpen, including new reinforcement Josh Ravin, recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday.
Ravin last pitched on Tuesday, one inning in Triple-A. The other likely long reliever, Juan Nicasio, pitched one inning on Wednesday and two innings on Monday.
The Dodgers will face Jonathon Niese, who brings a streak of eight consecutive quality starts into Friday night, with a 2.28 ERA since the beginning of June.
New York roster move
The Mets on Friday placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day disabled list with left knee inflammation, and recalled Michael Conforto from Double-A Binghamton. Conforto, 22, was hitting .312/.396/.503 with 12 doubles, three triples and five home runs in 45 games since his promotion to Double-A. He was rated the No. 14 prospect in baseball in Baseball America's midseason prospect rankings.
Time: 4:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network