Struggling Dodgers reliever Wilmer Font designated for assignment
The Dodgers cut ties with Wilmer Font, designating the struggling pitcher for assignment before Monday night’s game against the Miami Marlins to call up pitcher Walker Buehler.
Font, a 28-year-old right-hander, was the triple-A Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year last season but struggled in brief appearances with the Dodgers. Font took the loss in two games this season and posted a 11.32 earned-run average in 10 1/3 innings.
With Rich Hill on the disabled list, the Dodgers had used a nine-man bullpen. Font was deemed expendable.
“We needed to make room for Walker, No. 1,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Carrying nine relievers was, I think, excessive. We just didn’t have the innings for him to pitch consistently. We know that there’s some interest in him, out there in the market. Hopefully he lands somewhere on a big-league club.”
The Dodgers had hoped Font could provide value as a multi-inning reliever, given his background as a starting pitcher in the minors. But outside of a solid outing in extra innings in a game at Arizona, Font had trouble putting away big-league hitters. The team did not consider him an option to replace Hill in the rotation for Monday’s game.
Hill, nursing a cracked fingernail on his left middle finger, will throw a simulated game Tuesday, Roberts said. Hill will throw 70 to 75 pitches.
“Once he checks that box,” Roberts said, “we’ll project where he pencils in.”
The Dodgers are expected to give Buehler a second start as part of Saturday’s doubleheader, when the team can carry a 26th man for the day. Hill would be in line to start as early as Sunday, if he receives four days of rest after his simulated outing Tuesday.
SHORT HOP: Corey Seager was given a day off for the second time this season as Enrique Hernandez started at shortstop. Hernandez rewarded the move with three hits, including a home run.
“I like our lineup,” Roberts said before the game. “I like the way we can get guys involved.”
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