The Los Angeles Dodgers recalled Kenta Maeda from Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers on Monday, and optioned Brock Stewart to Double-A Tulsa. Maeda starts the series opener against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
He was optioned to the AZL Dodgers on Friday in what was nothing more than a paper move and another example of just how creative and ingenious the Dodgers front office. With the AZL season ending Sunday, Los Angeles was able to recall Maeda without needing to wait 10 days or have him replace an injured player.
Maeda allowed four runs in 5.2 innings and collected his 10th win of the season the last time he faced the Rockies on the road. Overall this season Maeda is 13-7 with a 3.37 ERA, 3.68 FIP and 1.10 WHIP in 25 starts.
He leads all rookies in wins, starts and innings pitched (141.2), and is tied for first with 142 strikeouts. A victory on Monday would tie Maeda with Kazuhisa Ishii (2002, 14-10) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (2013, 14-8) for the second-most wins by a Los Angeles rookie.
In similar fashion to their handling of Maeda, the Dodgers are retaining flexibility by sending Stewart to Tulsa as opposed to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The Drillers haven’t clinched a spot in the playoffs, which would allow Los Angeles to potentially recall Stewart as early as Monday, Sept. 5.
Stewart tossed five scoreless innings with a career-high eight strikeouts against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. That led to much deserved praise from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts after his club’s victory.
Stewart is 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA in four games (three starts) with the Dodgers, and has combined to go 9-2 with a 1.68 ERA in 20 starts across High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Tulsa and Oklahoma City.