LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers continue to use the 10-day disabled list to give their pitchers rest. The latest on the rest train is Kenta Maeda — who could have seen this coming? — one day after he made his longest start as a Dodger.
Maeda was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday with left hamstring tightness to make room for the activation of Hyun-jin Ryu, who was on the disabled list for, um, sliding into second or something.
Super convenient timing.
Maeda pitched into the ninth inning in the Dodgers’ series finale against the Pirates, the first time he has lasted past seven innings in the majors. After the game, he seemed puzzled when asked how he might handle potentially getting rest during the season.
“I try to keep those distractions out, and just focus on the pitching,” Maeda said after Wednesday’s start.
Unlike rotation mates Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Alex Wood, Maeda is coming off a full season. Maeda made 32 starts and pitched 175⅔ innings during the regular season last year.
There is also the matter of Maeda’s contract, which pays him a $3 million base salary and annual incentives of up to $10.15 million based on starts and innings pitched. Last year, he earned $8.9 million in bonuses, including $1.5 million for making his 32nd start on the last day of the regular season.
He did have a rough finish and playoffs in 2016, allowing 16 runs in 17⅓ innings over his last five starts. But on Wednesday Maeda couldn’t say whether he thought an in-season break would be a plus for him down the stretch.
“It’s hard to tell at this point. Looking back after the season, I’ll be able to tell,” Maeda said. “It’s up to me to make anything a positive. It’s what I try to do in any negative situation.”
Maeda is the 18th different Dodger to be placed on the disabled list in 2017.
Ryu last pitched on April 30, and missed the minimum 10 days while on the disabled list. He has allowed two total runs in his last two starts, with 12 strikeouts and four walks in 11⅓ innings.
This is the second start of the season at Coors Field for Ryu, who allowed two runs in 4⅔ innings on Apr. 7, suffering a tough-luck 2-1 loss in the home opener for the Rockies.