No one is more happy to return home than the Los Angeles Dodgers after going 4-3 on a road trip against the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, where a number of the games involved inclement weather and rain delays.
The most significant of which came Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park, when the game was stopped in the top of the third inning and did not resume until three hours later. Pace of play hardly made up for that, as the game didn’t end until almost 2 a.m. local time.
The biggest victim from the delay was Kenta Maeda, who was forced to be shut down after tossing two scoreless innings in which he did not allow a hit.
Maeda isn’t scheduled to start again until Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is planning to have him pitch in relief during the weekend series against the Miami Marlins, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Roberts said Kenta Maeda could pitch an inning out of the bullpen Friday or Saturday after having rain cut his start to two innings Wednesday
Throwing out of the bullpen is not something that is foreign to Maeda, as he has been moved there in the second half of each of the last two seasons. While many anticipate that it would happen again this year, and it still could, Rich Hill being sidelined by a flexor strain could change that.
If Maeda does get moved to the bullpen, it will be with the idea of aiding a struggling unit, not because he hasn’t fared well as a starter this season. In 19 starts, Maeda is 7-6 with a 3.75 ERA, 4.29 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 104 strikeouts and 34 walks in 103.1 innings.
The Dodgers bullpen was taxed a bit this week in Philadelphia due to the rain delay, so Maeda being available this weekend, even if it’s just for an inning, should be a big help to Roberts.