Chase Utley, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Howie Kendrick, 1B
Joc Pederson, CF
Trayce Thompson, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Yasiel Puig, RF
Carl Crawford, DH
(Mike Bolsinger, P)
By Jon Weisman
Mike Bolsinger has been officially reinstated from the disabled list to start tonight’s game in Anaheim against the Angels, with infielder Charlie Culberson being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Bolsinger had positioned himself as the team’s No. 5 starter to open the season when he injured his oblique warming up for his March 20 Spring Training start. That spot in the rotation then went to Ross Stripling, who pitched 7 1/3 no-hit innings in his MLB debut and has a 4.26 ERA in 38 innings across seven starts.
Tonight’s game is a spot start for Bolsinger to give the others in the Dodger starting rotation an extra day of rest, with Stripling scheduled to pitch Thursday. Dave Roberts said Tuesday that Bolsinger was a candidate to stay on the roster and pitch out of the bullpen following tonight’s game.
The 28-year-old Bolsinger had a 3.62 ERA and 1.36 WHIP with 98 strikeouts in 109 1/3 innings last year for the Dodgers, making 21 starts. His ERA was as low as 2.83 at the end of July, when he was optioned to the minor leagues to make room for trade acquisition Alex Wood.
In eight rehab innings with Oklahoma City, Bolsinger allowed two runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Another pitcher recovering from an oblique injury, Carlos Frias, pitched four shutout innings for Double-A Tulsa on Tuesday, allowing two baserunners with two strikeouts.Culberson has a .286 on-base percentage and .333 slugging percentage for the Dodgers in 28 plate appearances, the fewest trips to the plate of any Dodger position player on the active roster. He has batted six times since April 26, including a 2-for-2 start May 9 against the Mets.
Kiké Hernandez will be the Dodgers’ backup shortstop behind Corey Seager, who has a .404 OBP while slugging .629 in 99 plate appearances since April 22. The left-handed hitting Seager is OPSing .959 in 90 career plate appearances against lefty pitching.
The Dodgers could be playing with a four-man bench tonight — three if Adrian Gonzalez’s lower back continues to balk — but they won’t need to pinch-hit for a pitcher until Friday at San Diego at the earliest.
Prediction, Bolsinger replaces Stripling in the rotation after Striplings start tomorrow, Stripling goes down, with Guerrero activated off the DL on Friday. If Gonzales has to go on DL, Barnes is recalled, and Grandel will be getting playing time with Kendrick at first, while Barnes backs up AJ behind the plate.