Dodgers pitching prospect Jose De Leon is doing his best to kick down that proverbial door to the major leagues, pitching arguably his best game of the season on Monday night for Triple-A Oklahoma City in New Orleans.
De Leon struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings, and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Monday. He threw 88 pitches. He walked none.
Oklahoma City led 7-0 when De Leon was removed from the game.
The only runner to reach base in the first six innings against De Leon did so via error in the second inning, then De Leon retired his next 13 batters faced before Zehpyrs (Marlins) shortstop J.T. Riddle lined a single to center field to open the seventh.
De Leon has lasted at least seven innings in three straight starts and in four of his last five outings, and he has two straight games with double-digit strikeouts and four such starts on the season.
The right-hander has a 2.86 ERA in 15 starts for Oklahoma City this season, with 98 strikeouts and 20 walks in 79⅔ innings.
The Dodgers rotation is currently full of question marks in both health and performance, especially with Brett Anderson (dealing with a blister) and Scott Kazmir (neck and back issues). Bud Norris, just one start off the disabled list with back tightness, pitched in relief on Monday.
Rich Hill, who has dealt with his own blisters since early July, is scheduled to make his Dodgers debut on Wednesday.
Dodgers starting pitchers have a 6.45 ERA in August and have averaged 4.40 innings per start in 19 games this month.
Kazmir pitched earlier on Monday, so if the Dodgers were so inclined De Leon lines up in his spot should it become open. The club would need to make a corresponding move to add De Leon to the 40-man roster.