McCarthy expected to return this week
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.