MILWAUKEE — We didn’t bother asking Dan Haren if he was starting tomorrow in Atlanta. His name was on the sheet. There was no reason to expect otherwise.
Besides, Haren earned it. In his most recent start in Anaheim, he gave up three singles, didn’t walk a batter, and only allowed one run in the Dodgers’ 2-1 win over the Angels on Wednesday. His reward: His next turn in the rotation will be pushed back – at least for one day, it seems — by new Dodger Kevin Correia.
“We talked to (Correia) last night,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He seemed excited about being here. As I told him, right now we’ll use him as spot starts, coming out of the bullpen kind of filling Paul (Maholm)’s role, having some length but also giving us some insurance at the starter’s spot.”
When might that spot start come up?
“It might come up tomorrow,” Mattingly said. “That would come up quick. If it would come up tomorrow, hypothetically speaking, during this little stretch of all the games in a row to give our guys a little bit of a breather. Making sure we’re not overtaxing Kersh, Greinke. We know Hyun-Jin’s pitched better with that little extra day.”
Mattingly might have been deliberately vague because the Dodgers hadn’t officially added Correia to their roster at the time he was speaking. Later, it was announced that minor-league reliever Colt Hynes had been designated for assignment.
The corresponding 25-man roster move hasn’t been announced yet, but either Carlos Frias or Pedro Baez could be heading back to Triple-A when the Dodgers fly to Atlanta tonight. Correia will join the team in Atlanta.
One reason the Dodgers could be lining up Correia to start tomorrow: He’s got a 4.07 ERA in six games (five starts) in his career at Turner Field, the fourth-lowest ERA of any park in which he’s made five starts or more. Dodger Stadium (4.04), Wrigley Field (3.66) and Coors Field (3.35) top the list.
He also has a 0.00 ERA at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, so there’s that.
The bigger reason Mattingly pointed to is that Kershaw, Ryu and Greinke will each have made five starts since the All-Star break once Kershaw starts today. Haren has made four.
Correia, whose last start was Wednesday, was 5-13 with a 4.94 earned-run average when he was traded from the Twins last night for cash or a player to be named later.
“He’s been a guy that has given us trouble, that’s always kind of — for me he’s been around the strike zone, a guy that knows what he’s doing,” Mattingly said. “The guy has experience. A Southern California kid. A guy that fits in, we think, just what we need.”