Dodgers Now

Time for Dodgers to give Zach Lee an opportunity

Zach Lee has been doing well in the minors, so the Dodgers should give him a big-league chance

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Hopefully, even for a No. 1 draft pick who was a former organizational minor league pitcher of the year.

Of course, it was two years ago that the Dodgers named Zach Lee their minor league pitcher of the year and all that early promise seemed to be arriving on schedule.

Only after that, Lee seemed to shrink in the organizational hierarchy and all those prospect lists went from having him listed at No. 1 to dropping him from their top 10. Lee struggled last season at triple-A Albuquerque (7-13, 5.38 WHIP, 1.54 WHIP) and the excited buzz became a muffled murmur.

When the Dodgers’ rotation became a mess with season-ending injuries to Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers sent call-ups out to David Huff, Scott Baker, Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias and Joe Wieland -- seemingly everyone but Lee.

So what’s Lee been doing all this time? Only leading the triple-A Oklahoma City rotation with a 5-3 record, 2.38 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 44 strikeouts. Lee is still only 23 years old, and now in his fifth season, the former LSU quarterback seems to have found his stride.

Now will he find his way to the majors?

The Dodgers need to call up another starting pitcher for one of their two games in Tuesday’s doubleheader in Colorado.

They have yet to announce who they will call up, though Lee was pulled after only three scoreless innings in his last start Friday, so it appears he will get his shot. But Wieland pitched Thursday, so he’s also in line for a Tuesday start.

It’s time to give Lee an opportunity. He’s earned it. He persevered through some rocky moments to put it together at triple-A.

Tuesday is likely a one-shot deal, and Coors Field is hardly the ideal place to make a pitching debut, but he deserves a chance. That doesn’t mean he’s going to replace Bolsinger or Frias in the rotation, but you know someone is going to struggle or be injured and the Dodgers will yet need another rotation piece at some point. Let’s see if Lee could figure into the future mix.

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