Is this the weekend the Dodgers unveil the future of their starting rotation?
That puts Sunday’s assignment squarely on the shoulders of “TBD,” the staff workhorse in a season that’s seen 14 different pitchers start a game for the Dodgers.
One of the 14, right-hander Brock Stewart, was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. Roberts said that Stewart will serve as an emergency long reliever in case Urias or Bud Norris need a breather today or tomorrow.
If he doesn’t appear today or tomorrow, Stewart could win up pitching Sunday opposite Cubs lefty Jon Lester. The rookie right-hander hasn’t pitched since a five-inning start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Aug. 19. He’s allowed 15 runs in three major league starts (0-2) this year. In nine starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Stewart went 4-0 with a 2.49 ERA.
An intriguing alternative is Jose De Leon, perhaps the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect still in the minor leagues. The 24-year-old right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.86 earned-run average at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Since being blown up for seven runs in 1 ⅓ innings on July 25, De Leon has a 1.59 ERA in five starts. He’s held batters to a .472 OPS in that span, while averaging more than six innings (and more than six strikeouts) per game.
Stewart ceded his number 51 jersey today to veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz, who was acquired Thursday from the Philadelphia Phillies. He’ll wear number 48 instead.