Prior to Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, the Dodgers optioned their top starting pitcher to their lowest minor league affiliate.
Why is Kenta Maeda a member of the Arizona League Dodgers tonight?
Well, the Dodgers needed to make two roster moves, one to clear a spot for new catcher Carlos Ruiz, and another to add pitcher Brock Stewart, who will serve as a long reliever the next two days (or might start Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs).
To do so, catcher Shawn Zarraga was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, a move that was expected from the moment Zarraga arrived Thursday night.
Far less expected: Maeda was optioned to the Dodgers’ short-season Rookie League affiliate. Because their season ends Sunday, Maeda will be allowed to rejoin the active major league roster Monday in Colorado for his anticipated start against the Rockies. The Dodgers have no plans to alter their rotation.
Maeda will lose three days of service time, at which point the Dodgers will have to make another roster move.