Trayce Thompson (left) and Joc Pederson (center) have shared center field duties this season for the Dodgers. (Getty Images)
When is a platoon not a platoon?
Answer: When you’re Dave Roberts and you’ve started right-handed hitter Trayce Thompson in center field five times, against a left-handed starter each time, and left-handed hitter Joc Pederson has started every other game — all against right-handed pitchers.
Roberts had an opportunity to clarify the arrangement Wednesday, when Thompson got his sixth start of the season against Miami Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino.
Yimi Garcia still can’t pick up a baseball five days after he was removed from a game with a sore biceps muscle. The right-hander remains on the 15-day disabled list.
“Yimi’s doing just OK,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s not (shown) a whole lot of improvement, which is — he’s disappointed. After not picking up a baseball for three or four days, you’d expect that to kind of subside.”
Roberts said that the numbness in Garcia’s arm is more localized to the biceps area; last Friday his arm was numb all the way down to his wrist.
Garcia hasn’t had an MRI yet, but that would be the next step if he does not demonstrate improvement. In nine appearances across 8 ⅓ innings this season, Garcia had a 2.86 FIP and a 3.24 ERA.
Brett Anderson had surgery on a bulging disk in his lower back March 3. (Associated Press photo)
Brett Anderson was at his locker in the Dodgers clubhouse today, so I asked him if he’s able to throw a baseball from any distance. He is not.
Then I asked Anderson, who had back surgery on March 3, to describe what he is able to do. Here was his response:
“I get to look like a baseball player and stand outside with baseball players,” he said, wearing a baseball glove on his right hand. “I get to get some Vitamin D, standing out in the sun, which is better than being indoors all the time.”
Anderson was given a 3-to-5 month timetable for recovery from the time of his surgery, which projects to a return between June and August. He’s still on schedule.
The Dodgers will have two off-days in the same week next Monday and Thursday when they hit the road to face the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The scheduling quirk will afford manager Dave Roberts a rare opportunity to shuffle his rotation or give all his starting pitchers an extra day of rest — two in some cases.
“We’re talking about kind of moving some things around maybe, but right now we’re going to keep things as is,” Roberts said. “With Ross (Stripling), and just kind of with his usage, that’s something still in his infancy. We’re trying to figure out what’s best for our club. Trying to figure out what makes sen for him and for us.”
Stripling is on an innings limit this season that the Dodgers haven’t disclosed. Four starts into the season, the rookie right-hander has a 3.22 earned-run average and has accrued 22 ⅓ innings.
Scott Kazmir didn’t throw a bullpen session after leaving his last start with a sore left thumb. But the left-hander will start Wednesday’s game against the Miami Marlins, his fifth start of the season.
Kazmir went 1-1 with a 6.63 earned-run average in his first four starts. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested that the injury played a hand in the results.
“Kaz is a pro,” Roberts said. “He doesn’t want to use it as an excuse. When you have the wrist/thumb thing it’s kind of hard for him to get on top of the baseball. I think he was getting a little outside and under it. Now, even just watching him play catch he was getting the extension he needed. The ball was coming out well. I think he’ll be fine.”
Kazmir has faced the Marlins only once in the last seven years. For what it’s worth, he didn’t allow a run in that game on August 4, 2013, when he was pitching for the Cleveland Indians.