Dodgers call on David Huff to make spot start Tuesday

Dodgers call on David Huff to make spot start Tuesday
Dodgers pitcher David Huff smiles as he walks off the mound during a spring training game last month. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

That super top secret the Dodgers were keeping over who their starting pitcher would be Tuesday was finally revealed Monday, and remarkably, bamboo under fingernails ultimately was not required.

Taking Hyun-Jin Ryu's spot in the rotation against the Seattle Mariners will be David Huff.


Huff was a non-roster invitee in camp and pitched rather well (2-0, 1.32 earned-run average in six games), though after the Dodgers started Scott Baker on Thursday for triple-A Albuquerque it appeared he was lined up to make Tuesday's start.

But the left-handed Huff threw three innings of relief in that game, and because Seattle's lineup features star left-handed hitters Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said it was decided to go with Huff over the right-handed Baker.

Huff allowed one run on three hits Thursday for Oklahoma City.

"I made only two pitches I didn't locate very well, and I threw like 50 of them," he said. "I was pretty happy with it. I noticed guys weren't taking very good swings on the fastball, so I finished up with that instead of trying to get cute and throw something else and try to get them off-balanced."

Huff, 30, is a seven-year veteran who last started a major league game in 2013. For his career, he is 25-28 with a 5.02 ERA, although he went 3-1 with a 1.85 ERA in 30 games with the New York Yankees last year.

If that doesn't sound like the sixth starter of the Dodgers' dreams, Tuesday could prove a one-time deal for Huff. After Wednesday, players previously optioned will be eligible to be called back up. Joe Wieland, the right-hander who came to the Dodgers in the Matt Kemp trade, starts Monday for Oklahoma and could be called up to take Ryu's regular turn after Tuesday.

"Let's just get through this [Tuesday] and see where we're at," Mattingly said.

On Sunday, Mattingly said he still did not know who would make Tuesday's start, but Huff said he was told Saturday and flew to Los Angeles on Sunday.

Huff did not throw more than 3 1/3 innings during any of his six spring appearances, so Tuesday will likely turn into a bullpen start.

"I'm just trying to go as long as I can, until my body literally quits, but obviously injury-free," Huff said. "I'm going to try and go as long as I can and try to give our bullpen a little rest."

The Dodgers will have to make a corresponding roster move Tuesday before officially adding Huff to the roster. With Alex Guerrero in the lineup at third again Monday for the injured Juan Uribe (sore hamstring) and Justin Turner (finger), Darwin Barney appears the likely candidate.