LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers on Monday recalled Kenta Maeda from the Rookie-level Arizona League in the paperest of paper moves, allowing the right-hander to start the series opener against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Brock Stewart, who pitched five scoreless innings on Sunday, was optioned to Double-A Tulsa to make room on the active roster.
The move to option Maeda didn’t materially affect anything negatively — he still was paid for the three days technically in the minors, and the three days missed won’t prevent him from earning a full year of major league service time in 2016.
It did allow the Dodgers to play with a full bench in three days Maeda wasn’t going to pitch anyway, and done with advance blessing from Maeda and his agent as a courtesy.
Normally, a player can’t return from optional assignment within 10 days of getting sent out unless replacing an injured player, or someone going on the bereavement or paternity list. Another loophole is that a player is allowed to return if his team’s minor league season ends, which happened on Sunday with the AZL Dodgers.
The season ending counts playoffs, which is presumably why Stewart was sent to Tulsa, currently two games out of a playoff berth in the Texas League with a regular season over next Monday, instead of Triple-A Oklahoma City, who clinched a PCL division title Sunday.
Maeda has a 3.37 ERA and 3.68 FIP in 25 starts this season, with 142 strikeouts with 39 walks in 141⅔ innings.