Maeda was shifted to the bullpen following his start against the Phillies on Thursday, David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports reports. The Dodgers won't need a fifth starter for the remainder of the season thanks to a team off day next week, so Maeda will head back to the bullpen as the team gears up for the playoffs. Maeda was never expected to make the Dodgers' postseason rotation with the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Alex Wood and Rich Hill ahead of him, so this move isn't all too surprising. The 29-year-old spent some time in the bullpen earlier in the season, allowing just one run in five innings while striking out seven batters in a pair of appearances. Look for him to serve as an important multi-inning reliever for the Dodgers down the stretch.
Maeda will make his next start on Sept. 20 or Sept. 21 against the Phillies, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Maeda was originally scheduled to take the mound this Sunday against the Nationals, but manager Dave Roberts has decided to replace him with Hyun-Jin Ryu for that contest and shift Maeda back a few days to face off against the Phillies, who represent a much more enticing matchup.
Maeda allowed four runs on four hits while striking out four batters through just three innings during Monday's loss to the Giants. He did not factor into the decision. It's impossible to read too much into this start from Maeda, as the game was delayed twice for a total of three hours and 34 minutes. Simply put, that's a nightmare for a starting pitcher's routine. Maeda also entered the outing with a sterling 3.42 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 10.1 K/9 in the second half, so Monday's underwhelming showing is likely more to do with the rain delays than anything else. The Dodgers appear likely to stick with six-man rotation moving forward, so Maeda lines up to make his next start against Washington at Nationals Park on Sunday.
Maeda will get another start next Tuesday against the Giants after manager Dave Roberts announced that the Dodgers will stick with a six-man rotation, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports. Roberts' decision to continue giving his starters extra rest may have been influenced by Clayton Kershaw's uncharacteristically poor outing against the Rockies on Thursday. The news gives Maeda another turn in the rotation, placing him in a favorable matchup against the light-hitting Giants. The 29-year-old has pitched well in the second half, posting a 3.42 ERA and 10.1 K/9 in nine starts since the All-Star break.
Maeda held the Diamondbacks to one run (zero earned) on four hits while walking one and striking out eight over five innings. He did not receive a decision in Wednesday's 3-1 loss. Maeda fared much better against the Diamondbacks at home after getting shelled for seven runs in his previous start in Arizona. The 29-year-old's eight punchouts matched his high watermark for the year. He has been providing excellent strikeout totals over his last seven starts (11.1 K/9), despite carrying a pedestrian 3.86 ERA over that span. The Dodgers have been deploying a six-man rotation since Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish returned from the disabled list, so it is unclear if Maeda will stay on schedule with another start early next week, or if the club will revert to a traditional five-man setup as they lineup their starters for the postseason, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The Orange County Register.
|vs SAN DIEGO||1-2||0||5.68||19||21||12||21|
|@ DODGER STADIUM||8-1||1||2.79||67.2||52||21||71|