Who the Los Angeles Dodgers fifth starter will be to begin the season still remains in question, although it seems to be a competition between Carlos Frias and Zach Lee as other candidates have gone down with some form of injury.
Frias’ first true audition for the job came Friday night when he got the start against the division rival San Francisco Giants.
The right-hander tossed four shutout innings, giving up only six hits, issuing one walk and striking out three. The Giants at times made solid contact against Frias, but he was able to navigate his way out of trouble on multiple occasions.
Overall on the spring, Frias has pitched 14.2 innings in six games (two starts), while giving up 14 hits and four earned runs (2.45 ERA), striking out 10 and walking two.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts viewed Frias’ last outing as a productive one:
“He gave up a couple hard hit balls and a lot of weak contact,” Roberts said of Frias. “He was going after hitters and trusting his sinker. Got him up over 50 pitches. It was a productive outing. It was a big outing.”
Roberts was particularly impressed by Frias’ ability to get Giants expected starters out, and the first-year manager believes Friday’s outing will be helpful when deciding on a fifth starter:
“There were some regulars in there for the Giants in their lineup,” Roberts said. “To see the at-bats that they put against him, and to see how they went after him and the results, that was some information for us.”
Last season Frias was also forced into the fifth starter’s role because of injuries, before the right-hander went down with an injury of his own. Overall in 2015, Frias started 13 of 17 games, was 5-5 with a 4.06 ERA, 4.32 FIP and 1.47 WHIP.