Brandon Beachy didn't do himself any favors in his battle for the fifth spot in the Dodgers rotation, recording just six outs in the Dodgers' 11-8 loss to the Diamondbacks on Friday afternoon in Scottsdale. And he was the first to admit as much.
Brandon Beachy was unhappy with his outing. "I just threw non-competitive pitch after non-competitive pitch," he said.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 18, 2016
Beachy allowed six runs on five singles and four walks, with just one strikeout in his two innings. After a 40-pitch, three-run second inning, he remained in the game to start the third frame, but after a single and a pair of walks Beachy's day was done after 64 pitches.
All three bequeathed runners would score.
Beachy, in competition with Mike Bolsinger and Zach Lee for the fifth starter spot, has seven walks against only two strikeouts in seven innings this spring.
A frustrated Beachy after his rough outing (2 IP, 6 ER): "I'm here to compete for a job ...not to try to be a story about perseverance."— Doug Padilla (@DougPadilla) March 18, 2016
But even with his poor outing on Friday, there is still time for Beachy to rebound and make at least one April start for the Dodgers, thanks to his current roster status.
First things first, Beachy has to pitch better than he was on Friday to even be considered for a major league start. But with two Cactus League starts remaining there is time for just that, which may allow the Dodgers some roster flexibility in the first two weeks of the season.
Beachy is currently off the 40-man roster, though eventually adding him won't be a problem. The club hasn't put Brett Anderson nor Hyun-jin Ryu on the 60-day disabled list yet, for instance, so there is still maneuverability.
Both Bolsinger and Lee, on the 40-man roster, have options, but would have to be on the opening day roster if they were to start April 8, the fifth game of the season, because a player can't be optioned then recalled inside of 10 days unless replacing an injured player.
If Beachy shows anything in these next two weeks, he can make that April 8 start, and wouldn't have to be added to the roster until that day. That would allow the Dodgers to carry an extra player the first four games of the season, whether he be an extra relief pitcher or an extra position player.
Beachy, once he is on the 40-man roster, has options remaining, so he can be sent back down right after that one spot start on April 8. This, coupled with the Dodgers' off day on April 11, means the Dodgers won't need a fifth starter again until April 16. That means anther six games with a different extra player, either in the bullpen or on the bench, before Bolsinger, for example, joins the rotation.
For what it's worth, manager Dave Roberts did say on Thursday that fifth starter would break camp with the club, which likely makes all this rosterbation moot. But he could have meant in a physical sense, as Beachy would likely remain with the Dodgers in those four days until his number was called.
But again, Beachy needs to show something these last two starts in order for this plan to be considered, let alone work.
Saturday's Dodgers game against he White Sox will be televised by SportsNet LA, which is a good thing since the pitching matchup is phenomenal. Clayton Kershaw goes up against Chris Sale, the two best left-handed pitchers in baseball, a 1:05 p.m. PT start.