Adam Liberatore recalled, plus more pregame notes
By Jon Weisman
With Chris Hatcher going on paternity leave (Congrats!) shortly before or after 1:04 p.m. today, Adam Liberatore has been called up by the Dodgers from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The 28-year-old Liberatore, who most recently threw 33 pitches on Tuesday, walked two and struck out eight in four scoreless, hitless innings in the minors to start the season. He made his MLB debut for the Dodgers on April 17 last year, and allowed no runs or inherited runs in 13 of his first 15 appearances (0.71 WHIP) before finishing his rookie season with a 4.25 ERA.
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Dave Roberts said everyone in his bullpen is available tonight, including Kenley Jansen, who needed only 18 pitches to retire five batters in closing out Wednesday’s victory.
Jansen has retired 11 of the 12 batters he has faced in 2016. He has thrown 47 pitches in the 11 days since exhibition play ended, with three days’ rest before each of his three regular-season games. Suffice it to say, he hasn’t been overworked.
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Exactly one week after he took the mound for his MLB debut and threw 7 1/3 hitless innings, Ross Stripling is back on the hill again. Curiosity about Stripling is high, especially in terms of what he’ll deliver for an encore, as well as whether Roberts had a specific pitch limit for him tonight.
“If I did, I wouldn’t tell you,” Roberts said with a smile. “No, there’s no one number. I think it’s kind of watching how he pitches, (if there’s) stressful innings, and seeing where the game takes us. But I’ve got an idea.”
MLB Network Nearly every media outlet covering the Dodgers, as well as some national press, has done a story on Stripling this week (including this one), and each story seems to find something new to tell. Dani Wexelman, for example, relayed for Sports on Earth how Stripling became a licensed stockbroker during his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
“There’s a few different layers to Ross Stripling, which is pretty cool,” Roberts said.
At the same time, Roberts noted, there’s also a consistency to him.
“Performance kind of helps anyone’s confidence and it validates things, I guess, but I think from my standpoint, he’s the same that he’s been since the day Spring Training began,” Roberts said. “He’s got a good look in his eye, he’s got confidence and a good way about him.”
So, Roberts was asked, does that mean he might invest his money with Stripling?
“No,” Roberts laughed. “Absolutely not.”
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Howie Kendrick starts at third base — his third position in three games since his return from the disabled list. It’s a day of rest for Justin Turner, who was hit by two pitches Wednesday. Roberts expects Turner to be back in the starting lineup Friday.