Could Carlos Frias have pitched his way into Dodgers’ rotation?

Carlos Frias throws against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 3.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

So Carlos Frias, who has pretty much spent eight years flying well under the “hot prospect” radar, makes a spot start for the Dodgers during the stretch and throws six scoreless innings against the Nationals. It means what?

Thanks for the contribution, now back to long relief? We really needed that, but could you kindly return to the shadows?

Or should Roberto Hernandez be feeling just a tad nervous about his rotation security? He best be paying close attention.


Frias went 30-29 with a 3.94 ERA during his first seven seasons in the minors, never advancing beyond double-A. He did not exactly scream can’t-miss kid. But this season he went a combined 10-5 with a 4.58 ERA in 21 games spread between double-A and triple-A.

That earned him a call-up last month, and for the most part, he had been fairly impressive in eight relief appearances, though never more than Wednesday afternoon in his first major-league start.

Frias, 24, threw six scoreless innings against the team with the best record in the National League. He allowed only three hits, one walk and struck out four.

“He threw the ball great,” said infielder Justin Turner. “He’s been throwing the ball good ever since he got here.”

Surprise, surprise.

Which leaves the Dodgers in an interesting position: Do they continue to go with Hernandez (2-2, 4.61 ERA) and even Dan Haren (3-6, 5.64 ERA the last two months) down the stretch, or gamble on the relatively unknown product that is still Frias?

“We’ll have to see if there’s another spot for it,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “It was just one thing.


“He’s also a valuable guy out of our ’pen. There’s a possibility of him helping us out there. It is maybe something we’ll talk about, but obviously [this] just happened today.”

Outside of one relief appearance, Frias was a starter all season in the minors and appears most comfortable there.

Mattingly at least appears open to going back to Frias, so Hernandez best not continue to struggle as he has in his last three starts (6.46 ERA). Players have precious little time to keep the faith in a September stretch drive.

Either way, figure that we’ll see more of Frias this month.

“Where is his value at?” Mattingly asked. “Is it going to be starting or out of the ’pen for us as we go down the stretch? We’ll see.”