The Dodgers as promised recalled Edwin Uceta from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday morning, in advance of the bullpen game in the series finale, one day after the right-hander joined the team in Washington D.C.
Brusdar Graterol, who was with the Dodgers as they visited the White House on Friday to celebrate the 2020 World Series championship, was optioned back to Triple-A after pitching the last two nights in relief.
Uceta has a 6.28 ERA and 3.99 FIP in his first major league season, with 16 strikeouts and six walks in 14⅓ innings. The right-hander has pitched in nine games with the Dodgers this season, including in three of the five bullpen games the team deployed. Uceta started a bullpen game on April 30 in Milwaukee, pitching two innings in his major league debut.
|1B||Muncy (L)||RF||Soto (L)|
|CF||Bellinger (L)||1B||Bell (S)|
With Oklahoma City, Uceta has a 5.68 ERA in 12⅔ innings, averaging just over three innings and 14 batters faced in his four games in Triple-A. He is expected to provide length if needed on Sunday.
Left-hander Garrett Cleavinger serves as the opener, pitching for his third time in the last four days. Of the other eight relievers on the roster, Phil Bickford is the only one to pitch more than once in the last four days. Manager Dave Roberts said everyone is available on Sunday, including a relatively lengthy outing from David Price, who last pitched on June 26.
“David hasn’t pitched in a week, so for him to be up to 40 pitches is totally reasonable,” Roberts said.
Roberts said the Dodgers plan to bring more pitching reinforcements for the next series against the Marlins. Expected among them is activating Scott Alexander off the 60-day injured list, after the left-hander pitched in back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday on a rehab assignment with Oklahoma City.
Justin Turner is getting a routine day off with a four-game series in Miami starting Monday. Austin Barnes catches the series finale after Will Smith caught Saturday night, keeping with the season-long plan of splitting starts between the two catchers when a day game follows a night game.
Roberts said Sunday’s 8 a.m. PT (and 11 a.m. local) game is the earliest start time he can remember being a part of, at least in the major leagues.
“I can recall maybe in Double-A in the minors, there were some days where all we see is a bunch of elementary school kids screaming the entire game with fluorescent shirts,” Roberts recalled. “In recent memory, this is pretty early. This is aggressive.”