By Jon Weisman
Carlos Frias has been called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to bring a fresh arm to a tired Dodger pitching staff, with Mike Bolsinger being optioned down.
This move materialized as a likely possibility when Frias didn’t make a scheduled long-relief appearance Saturday, shortly before Bolsinger struggled to get seven outs.
Frias presumably could take Bolsinger’s turn in the rotation, but could be needed out of the bullpen first. In the past seven days, Dodger relievers have needed to face 96 batters, an average of 13.7 per day. The Dodgers have an off day Thursday, when Bolsinger was next scheduled to start.
The 26-year-old Frias has a 4.60 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 31 1/3 minor-league innings this year with 25 strikeouts. Most recently, in June, Frias’ ERA is 3.63 with a 1.10 WHIP and 14 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings.
Last year, Frias pitched 77 2/3 innings for the Dodgers — fifth-most on the big-league staff — with a 4.06 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. As a Dodger, Frias has performed considerably better against right-handed batters (.630 OPS) then lefties (.868), as well as at Dodger Stadium (.657 OPS) and in night games (.660 OPS).
Frias was optioned to Oklahoma City before the start of the season, but didn’t pitch his first game in the minors this year until May 12 (for Double-A Tulsa) because of an oblique injury, the same injury that cost Bolsinger a spot in the starting rotation in April.
Bolsinger, who had a 3.62 ERA for the Dodgers in 2015, hasn’t reached six innings in any of his six starts this year. In the past three, he has allowed 14 runs on 25 baserunners in 12 2/3 innings, with 11 strikeouts.
On Saturday, Frias had been scheduled to follow Jose De Leon, who threw four innings (65 pitches) for Oklahoma City, allowing a run on two hits and two walks while fanning three.