PHOENIX -- On Sunday the Dodgers are back on the road, in Scottsdale to face the Giants. A game that was originally slotted for Brett Anderson before back surgery derailed his season will now be started by Zach Lee.
"We're looking at their days on and days off, so we're pretty limited in that sense," manager Dave Roberts said. "But it was pretty easy, and it kind of lined up for Zach."
Ross Stripling, who like Lee also threw live batting practice on Tuesday, the same day as Anderson, will follow Lee on Sunday. In the first time through the rotation, Dodgers starting pitchers are pitching two innings each.
Lee, now 24, made his major league debut for the Dodgers in 2015, but his one appearance was a forgettable start in New York against the Mets. He had an otherwise fine season, putting up a 2.70 ERA in 19 starts, with 81 strikeouts and 19 walks in 113 innings. He could have led the Pacific Coast League in ERA though he fell two innings shy of qualifying, thanks in part to missing a month after experiencing tingling in his fingertips.
The battle for Anderson's spot in the regular season rotation will continue all spring, with several suitors in the mix.
"It provides opportunity for a broader range of guys in camp. There is more at stake for a lot of guys, because we do have potential openings in the rotation," general manager Farhan Zaidi said on Thursday. "I'm sure it will provide some extra motivation for a lot of the guys in camp and hoping for an opportunity."
Anderson had successful surgery on Wednesday and will likely rejoin his teammates at some point next week at Camelback Ranch.
Another Dodger getting stretched out is Cuban newcomer Yaisel Sierra, though since he just arrived this week he will still need to ramp up his throwing program before he even gets into a game here in Arizona.
"He's got to still throw to hitters and go through that progression," Roberts said. "We definitely envision him in a Cactus League game, but I don't know when."
As we noted on Tuesday, when Roberts mentioned Sierra as a reliever he meant that that was Sierra's role if he were to make the big league club quickly. But with Anderson down that changed a bit. It won't be right out of spring training, but Sierra could be in the mix to fill in as a starter for the Dodgers, depending on how he progresses.
"He's a guy that has length," Roberts said. "He has three pitches."