The Los Angeles Dodgers seemingly provided Jose De Leon with a final opportunity on Wednesday night to state his case for a spot on the National League Division Series roster. Los Angeles has yet to name a fourth starter, though Julio Urias may have an inside track.
Including Thursday’s series finale against the San Diego Padres, Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy are not scheduled to start prior to the regular season coming to a close. Meanwhile, De Leon struggled and now finds himself on the outside looking in.
“With Jose, it was an outside shot anyway,” Roberts said after Wednesday’s game of De Leon making the postseason roster.
“Nothing is definitive, but obviously his last two turns haven’t been what he would’ve expected. There’s part of the experience piece but also how you’re pitching (heading into the postseason). Even if it doesn’t happen, it’s not a knock on him at all.”
After throwing well in his first two starts, De Leon has turned in a pair of rocky outings. He gave up four hits, five runs (three earned) in just 2.1 innings of work against the Padres. It was the first time in De Leon’s young career he faced a team more than once.
Overall in four starts, De Leon is 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA, 6.97 FIP and 1.53 WHIP. He was as dominant as can be at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, going 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 16 starts. He struck out 111 and walked 20 in 86.1 innings.
Despite the shaky close to 2016, the right-hander gained valuable experience with the Dodgers and should build on that heading into next season.