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Zach Neal called up from Triple-A, Josh Fields placed on paternity list

RHP Jesus Liranzo DFA’d to make roster room

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Kansas City Royals
Zach Neal was a non-roster invitee to Dodgers big league camp in spring training.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — One day after seeing eight relief pitchers combine for 10⅔ innings, the Dodgers bullpen received some reinforcements on Tuesday in the form of right-hander Zach Neal, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Josh Fields, who pitched scoreless innings in each of the last two nights, was placed on paternity leave, with he and his wife Brittney expecting their first child. The minimum stay on the paternity list is one day and the maximum is three days, so expect Fields back by Friday when the Dodgers open a weekend series in San Francisco.

Neal was a non-roster invitee with the Dodgers in spring training, and has pitched parts of the last two seasons in the majors with the A’s. He has a 4.89 ERA in 84⅔ major league innings, with 37 strikeouts and seven walks.

Among the 394 pitchers with at least 80 major league innings pitched in 2016-17 combined Neal’s 10.7% strikeout rate ranks 394th but his 2.0% walk rate ranks first.

“Certain guys are different. If you have a guy who strikes out a lot of guys he might walk a lot of guys. My strikeout ratio is always 3-to-1, just sometimes with not a lot of strikeouts,” Neal said during spring training. “I like to pride myself in being consistent, when you call my name you know what you’re going to get every time.”

Neal was slated to open the season in the starting rotation for Triple-A Oklahoma City and still might since OKC doesn’t open play until Thursday and Fields is likely back on Friday. But for now Neal is in the major league bullpen. Neal will wear No. 49 with the Dodgers, the same number he wore during spring training.

Now that he’s on the 40-man roster this is relevant: Neal has one option year remaining, having used options in 2016 and 2017.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Neal the Dodgers designated pitcher Jesus Liranzo for assignment, just one day after he was acquired form Baltimore.