It has been a long time in the making, but Zach Lee at last gets the opportunity to make his Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League debut on Saturday. The Dodgers recalled Lee from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned Ian Thomas to OKC to clear room on the active roster for the right-hander.
While Lee is set to make his debut, this technically marks his second time up with the Dodgers. He was the 26th man added to the active roster for the second game the Dodgers and Washington Nationals played July 18. Due to being added as a 26th man, he’s not subject to the 10-day rule for players optioned to the Minors.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly envisioned using the right-hander as a long reliever if necessary, which wasn’t as Clayton Kershaw went on to throw eight dominant innings. In 12 starts for OKC, Lee owns a 7-3 record with a 2.36 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
After missing a month due to tingling in the fingers on his right hand, the 23-year-old came back strong, winning his last two games. In those outings he’s thrown a combined 12 innings, allowed three runs (two earned) and collected six strikeouts to just two walks.
Thomas gets sent back to OKC after making the first start of his Major League career on Friday. He filled in admirably for Zack Greinke, allowing one run and striking out five in five innings of work. Lee becomes the 14th pitcher to start a game for the Dodgers this season, which is the most the club has used in one season since 1952. The Brooklyn Dodgers used 19 pitchers in 1944.