McCarthy ex­pected to re­turn this week

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - By Andy McCul­lough andy.mccul­lough@la­ Twit­ter: @McCul­loughTimes

WASHINGTON — The Dodgers in­tend to ac­ti­vate right-han­der Bran­don McCarthy “some­time next week,” man­ager Dave Roberts said be­fore Satur­day’s game against the Washington Na­tion­als. McCarthy com­pleted a six-in­ning re­hab as­sign­ment for dou­ble-A Tulsa on Fri­day.

The Dodgers have not de­ter­mined how McCarthy will be used dur­ing the fi­nal two weeks of the sea­son.

“Ob­vi­ously, the sim­ple thought is to get him out of the bullpen, and to see how that looks,” Roberts said. “But if there’s a po­ten­tial to get him a start, it’s a pos­si­bil­ity.”

McCarthy had a 2.87 earned-run av­er­age in his first 12 starts this sea­son be­fore com­ing un­done from a com­bi­na­tion of com­mand is­sues, knee ten­dini­tis and re­cur­ring blis­ters on his pitch­ing hand. He has not pitched for the Dodgers since July 20.

Barnes is earn­ing Roberts’ con­fi­dence

With Na­tion­als righthander Stephen Stras­burg on the mound Sun­day evening, the Dodgers are con­sid­er­ing start­ing Austin Barnes at catcher, and he ap­pears to be mov­ing ahead of Yas­mani Gran­dal in the team’s back­stop hi­er­ar­chy.

Barnes has out­per­formed Gran­dal at the plate this sea­son and has earned Roberts’ con­fi­dence as a game-caller.

“Last year, my first time be­ing around him, the game was very fast,” Roberts said. “Of­fen­sively, be­hind the plate, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with pitch­ers. And this year, it’s re­ally, re­ally slowed down, in all phases of the game. The way he’s re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion, the way he’s com­mu­ni­cat­ing with pitch­ers and con­duct­ing him­self in the bat­ter’s box, all things very pos­i­tive. Very pleased.”

Gran­dal leads the ma­jors in passed balls and is hit­ting .157 since Aug. 1.

Ro­ta­tion is set for Philadel­phia se­ries

Kenta Maeda will re­turn to the ro­ta­tion Thurs­day in Philadel­phia. Clay­ton Ker­shaw will pitch Mon­day, fol­lowed by Yu Dar vish and Alex Wood. Maeda’s ap­pear­ance will give Rich Hill an ex­tra day of rest.

Maeda gave up four runs in three in­nings in Mon­day’s late-night, rain-de­layed game in San Fran­cisco.

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