LOS ANGELES — In the middle of a series against the Giants in which the Dodgers have their surefire defined top three starting pitchers going, Los Angeles still needs to figure out its fourth starter for the postseason. To that end, Brett Anderson will start on Thursday against the Rockies, manager Dave Roberts said on Tuesday.
Anderson, on the disabled list with a blister on his left hand, pitched five strong innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City in a rehab start last Friday, allowing one run while throwing 54 pitches.
"Anderson is built up. His last start was good," Roberts said on Monday. "I know that Brett is open to whatever we ask of him."
With only 10 games remaining in the regular season after the Giants series, time is scarce, but the Dodgers have to see what they have in Anderson as well as the other two veterans on the disabled list.
Brandon McCarthy threw an extended simulated game on Tuesday as planned, and Scott Kazmir threw a bullpen session.
#Dodgers Scott Kazmir just threw 35 pitch bullpen. Blister is on middle knuckle of ring finger. Covered it during bullpen today— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 20, 2016
In a perfect world, Julio Urias is probably the Dodgers’ best option to be the Game 4 starter in the postseason, but nearing his innings limit he has been moved to the bullpen, where he might contribute in October.
With the three veterans, none of them have pitched in a major league game in a while. McCarthy last pitched on Aug. 13, Anderson on Aug. 20 and Kazmir on Aug. 22.
Among the rookies, Ross Stripling has thrown 113⅔ innings between the majors and minors in 2016 after 71⅓ last year, which was coming back from Tommy John surgery. Brock Stewart, drafted in 2014, played mostly infield in college and is up to 148 innings this year after 101 in 2015.
Jose De Leon might be best-suited for the role, and with the most left in the tank. He’s at 101 innings in 2016 after 114⅓ innings last year. But he also has all of three major league starts on his ledger.
So it’s understandable that the Dodgers will at least give the veteran trio a chance over this final week and a half to see what they have, and make a decision from there.