SAN FRANCISCO -- Kenta Maeda was sent to the bullpen and the Dodgers wasted no time pressing him into relief action, as he pitched one eventful but scoreless inning in Saturday's 7-5, 14-inning loss to the Giants.The temporary role was one of several adjustments the Dodgers have made because of
SAN FRANCISCO -- Kenta Maeda was sent to the bullpen and the Dodgers wasted no time pressing him into relief action, as he pitched one eventful but scoreless inning in Saturday's 7-5, 14-inning loss to the Giants.
The temporary role was one of several adjustments the Dodgers have made because of scheduling glitches. Friday night's rainout, as well as three scheduled days off in an eight-day span, necessitated the Maeda move, which manager Dave Roberts said would last a week.
"It takes some give from each one of these guys," Roberts said Saturday. "For us to have seen Kenta out of the 'pen helps and to give him the potential to still get his work in. With the off-days and the rain, we've got to make some adjustments. It's not ideal for any of these guys. To be open to some adjustments is what it calls for and fortunately for us, our guys are on board."
Maeda was dominant in the postseason coming out of the bullpen, allowing one earned run in 10 2/3 innings over nine appearances. Against the Giants in the seventh inning, he allowed a double to Austin Jackson and a one-out infield single to Andrew McCutchen before striking out Buster Posey and Evan Longoria.
"Not to take away from him as a starter, because we value his starts, but for this short time, for him to be out of the 'pen I think makes the most sense for us."
Skipping starts can be financially costly for Maeda, whose incentive-laden contract rewards him for starts and innings pitched. Last year, in addition to his $3 million annual base salary, Maeda earned $4.525 million in bonuses making 25 starts and pitching 134 1/3 innings. In 2016, when he made 32 starts and pitched 175 2/3 innings, he reached $6.75 million in bonuses.
Maeda had been listed as the scheduled starter for Friday night's rainout. Rich Hill started on five days' rest Saturday and Clayton Kershaw pitches on normal four days' rest Sunday.
With a day off Monday, Roberts said Alex Wood will start Tuesday night and Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Wednesday night at home against Oakland. Wood will be pitching on five days' rest, Ryu will be pitching on eight days' rest.
Thursday will be another scheduled day off (the Dodgers are off every Thursday in April). Roberts said he hasn't planned the starters beyond that, but Kershaw would be on regular rest if he starts Friday night against Arizona.
With Thursday a scheduled day off, Roberts held an optional workout at AT&T Park on Friday after the night game was postponed.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.