This is insane!!! De Leon / Urias / Kershaw

Pitching in Yankee Stadium in the middle of September, in the middle of a pennant race. Sure, we all envisioned this could happen in 2018, optimistic folk might have felt it could happen in 2017. Yet, this is 2016.

The future is already here and it came blazingly fast

On the mound last night was the rookie Jose De Leon making his 2nd start. Rookies making starts in Sept is nothing new in baseball, rookies making starts for a team in the pennant race is a little more unusual. It happens, but not like this. The Dodgers have won three straight NL Western conference titles and how many rookies made starts for those teams in September before they clinched the pennant? Over that three-year period, four rookies

  • Joe Wieland last Sept, 9th
  • Carlos Frias 9/17/2014 and 9/3/2014
  • Stephen Fife 09/18/2013
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu  made four starts but Ryu like Maeda is not your typical rookie and not really what we are talking about here.

The Dodgers have used a rookie non-Kenta Maeda five times already this month, with Urias set to make it six times tonight. If we include Kenta, rookies have made seven starts this month, with Urias about to make it eight. With Maeda the Dodgers have used rookie starters in seven of the ten games played in Sept. Urias will make it eight of eleven games when he pitches tonight.

  • Jose De Leon – 2 times
  • Brock Stewart – 1 time
  • Ross Stripling – 1 time (and also on Aug 31st)
  • Julio Urias – 1 time ( and tonight will make it 2 times)
  • Kenta Maeda – 2 times

The non – rookies to make starts for the Dodgers this month?  Rich Hill &  Clayton Kershaw

And by the way, the Dodgers are 7 – 3 so far this month.

One final note, the likes of Weiland, Frias, and Fife were strictly filler and no one expected any of them to have a future beyond those spot starts. The starts were much appreciated at the time but not surprisingly none of them had a future with the Dodgers. Frias maybe, but most considered him a relief pitcher, and probably still should.  No, these guys are quite different, and if in a year from now the rotation was Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Urias, De Leon or one of Stewart or Stripling, it would not shock me in the slightest.

Second final note, if Urias was not knocking on his innings limit he’d be a slam dunk as the Dodgers choice for 4th starter in the postseason. With limited options that might end up being Jose De Leon. The last rookie to start in the postseason for the Dodgers that was not a Japanese or Korean international signing looks to be Ismael Valdez in 1995. Before that, you’d have to go back to Fernando in 1981.




  1. Eric Stephen answered the Valdez question, and Kuo was the last rookie to start a postseason game in 2006


  2. 68elcamino427

    Urias did a good job tonight.

    Stripling gave up back to back homers tonight, both of them would have been caught on the warning track in Dodger Stadium.


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