In the aftermath of today’s extra-inning win over the Nationals (2 homers for Casey Blake! 2.2 scoreless for Carlos Monasterios!), Dylan Hernandez dropped some sobering news:
Vicente Padilla to the DL with a sore forearm; Jon Link being recalled.
So in the last 36 hours, the Dodgers have placed their most accomplished hitter and their Opening Day starter on the DL. Fantastic. But with usual spot starter Jeff Weaver on the DL himself, it also means the club doesn’t have any idea who is going to start in Padilla’s place on Tuesday in New York – a game which not only is going to be on ESPN, but which I will be in attendance for.
The only reliever on the roster who could concievably step in would be former starter Ramon Ortiz, but that’s not a possibility I’m even remotely prepared to accept. What’s far more likely is that Link is up for just the next two games, before being sent back to AAA once again in favor of that day’s starter. But who? Here’s the options from among the current Albuquerque rotation:
James McDonald. Hasn’t pitched since last Sunday, when he left after just one inning with a broken fingernail. He’s hardly been overwhelming when healthy – 4.97 ERA, 17 hits allowed in 12.2 innings.
Scott Elbert. Tonight’s scheduled starter, but missed the game to be with his wife as she gives birth. In addition, Elbert’s been lousy so far – in 14 innings over three games, he’s allowed 13 ER while walking 11 (though striking out 16).
Josh Lindblom. Scheduled to pitch on Sunday, but he’s been hit even harder than Elbert. Despite a nice 13/3 K/BB ratio, he’s allowed 24 hits in 14 innings, which helps explain that 5.79 ERA.
John Ely. Slotted to go on Monday, and he’s pitched well in his first season in AAA (and with the Dodgers), putting up a 3.00 ERA and a 12/8 K/BB ratio.
Josh Towers. Towers has the terrifying trifecta: Tuesday’s his regular turn, he’s off to a decent start (3 ER in 12 IP), and he’s a veteran over 30.
Interestingly enough, none of them have pitched since Friday. ABQ was rained out on Saturday, and 33-year-old Seth Etherton (6.30 ERA in 23 MLB games, none since 2006) started tonight’s game in place of Elbert. None of Lindblom, Ely, or Towers are on the 40-man roster, but that’s not really a huge issue since Cory Wade or Brad Ausmus can still be moved to the 60-day DL.
Now, in any normal situation, I’d say that McDonald or Elbert would be the no-doubt choices here. Yet the fact that each has missed time due to either personal or injury issues, plus the fact that neither’s been all that great anyway, means that this isn’t a normal situation. Lindblom’s been hit hard, and while Ely’s been good I just can’t see them making that move. So as much as I hate to think it, say it, or write it, I really think this situation has “Josh Towers” written all over it.
On the other hand, you could just send Tommy Lasorda to do a rain dance. By the looks of the clouds gathering outside my window, this could be a rainy couple of days in the city.