Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Avilan, Bolsinger called up — Tsao to disabled list, Stripling optioned

Ross Stripling pitched three shutout innings Sunday. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Ross Stripling, whose season began with 7 1/3 no-hit innings April 8 in San Francisco, pitched three shutout innings Sunday in his relief debut. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Regrouping after throwing 582 pitches in three games at San Diego — and losing one of their pitchers to the disabled list in the process — the Dodgers are bringing up two fresh arms for their pitching staff.

Luis Avilan will come up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to rejoin the Dodger bullpen, while Mike Bolsinger has made the same journey to be the starting pitcher Tuesday for Los Angeles.

Bolsinger started May 18 for the Dodgers, throwing 4 1/3 innings in his MLB season debut.

Avilan’s overall numbers in the minors this year (4.97 ERA, 1.74 WHIP) aren’t compelling, but left-handed batters are 2 for 14 with two walks against him. Last month, he pitched for the Dodgers in three straight games at Colorado, allowing five of seven batters to reach base.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21: Chin-Hui Tsao #59 of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands on the mound after giving up a walk-off walk to Yangervis Solarte #26 of the San Diego Padres during the 11th inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on May 21, 2016 in San Diego, California. The Padres won 3-2. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Chin-hui Tsao gave up a walk-off walk to Yangervis Solarte in the 11th inning Saturday. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

The numbers game also forces Ross Stripling, originally scheduled to start Tuesday before he pitched three shutout innings to help clinch the Dodgers’ 7-6, 17-inning win Sunday, to be optioned to Triple-A. He’ll be down there for at least 10 days, barring another Dodger injury. In reality, he might miss only one start, given that with an upcoming off day, he wasn’t necessarily going to take the mound again until early next week.

Stripling has a 4.53 ERA (3.68 FIP) in 45 2/3 innings this season with 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings.

But the more downbeat news went to Chin-hui Tsao, who is going on the disabled list with a right triceps strain. Tsao couldn’t come close to finding the strike zone in walking the last three batters he faced Saturday in the Dodgers’ 3-2, 11-inning loss, and then reported to work Sunday unable to pitch.

The Dodgers benefit by having Clayton Kershaw start the night after playing their most innings in nine years, but even though Kershaw has pitched at least seven innings in each of his nine starts this season, the Dodgers can’t assume he’ll throw a complete game. And this is the state of their bullpen heading into this evening, looking at their pitch counts over the past six games:

Pitch counts 5-22-16

  • Louis Coleman and Adam Liberatore have pitched in three games in a row.
  • J.P. Howell threw 35 pitches Sunday, his most in a game in nearly three years, a day after throwing 16.
  • Joe Blanton has thrown 39 pitches in the past two games and 63 in the past four.

Outside of Avilan, that leaves right-handers Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher as the freshest available arms. None pitched Saturday, and none passed the 20-pitch mark Sunday.


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Seventeen innings later, what’s new?


  1. Going to the game tonight, and thankfully it’s is Kershaw. Have to think he’ll be giving every opportunity to go 9, unless he’s around 120 pitches, no matter what the score.

  2. Dodgers need starting pitching & relief pitching soon & dump pitching coach Honeycutt has led the staff astray. GET RID OF PUIG & crawford for pitching .the dodgers really mess up not getting Hammels last year. Need to act soon to stay in the race after Kershaw it looks like a triple A pitching staff. New from office is not doing a good job.

    • You realize to get Hamels they would had to give up Seager and Urias, there was no way the Phillies trade him to the Dodgers for less.

  3. I cant understand why they don’t bring up Zach lee and give him a shot, hes one of there best pitchers in the front office is not doing the job at all. there very disappointing and the fans are getting tired of them passing on all the talent that was out there and getting all these has been pitchers who have had tommy john surgery should get rid of Honeycutt should have never got rid of mark maquire as hitting coach.

    • Lee started Saturday, so really Bolsinger was the only option to call up tonight. Now as far as next time this spot needs to be used (since it’s before Stripling can be brought back), maybe it’s Urias or Lee.
      McGuire was awful as hitting coach, good riddance.

  4. Bolsinger bombs in his start but Stripling pitches 2 hit ball for 3 innings for an important win after the powder puffs can’t score in the 14th with bases loaded and no outs and he gets sent down

    Meanwhile Kazmor after an opening great season start has been a virtual sure loser and he remains

    Some quetinos: will Crawford hit his weight this year ( wouldn’t he be better on some American laugue team or any team but ours)?; will the Dodgers ever again score more runs with hits than DPs, wild pitches and passed balls?; will Gonzales reach the 10 homer mark this season?; will Kershaw be the only rep on the All Star team?

    • You can’t think of Stripling going down as a demotion, but rather a move needed to be made out of necessity. Someone has to start tonight, and another arm needed to come come up to help the pen out after a 17 inning game.
      With a day off on Thursday, Stripling will only miss one start. That start hopefully will go to Urias or Lee, unless Bolsinger does something tonight.
      Crawford does need to be DFA’d, I’m thinking he will be once SVS is ready to come back.
      I think Jansen will make AS Team as well, unless he blows a couple more saves, but no one else deserves a spot.

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