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Dodgers shift Mat Latos to bullpen

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Los Angeles will go with a four-man rotation for the time being, moving the newly-acquired right-hander to the bullpen.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers will move right-hander Mat Latos, recently acquired in a three-team deal with the Braves and Marlins, to the bullpen for the time being, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

With Latos in the bullpen, the Dodgers will go with a four-man rotation consisting of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood.

Latos has struggled in his three starts with Los Angeles, allowing 11 runs on 18 hits in 14⅔ innings, good for a 6.75 ERA. He has walked three and struck out just eight. The entire season has been a struggle for Latos, who had a 4.48 ERA in 16 starts with the Marlins before the trade. His 4.81 ERA on the season would be the highest of his career, even as his 3.52 FIP is close to his career number of 3.42. Part of the issue has been his LOB%, which at 62.7 percent is 10 percent below his career number.

Moving to the bullpen will be an adjustment for Latos, who has made all of his 172 major league appearances as a starter. His last relief appearance came on May 13, 2009 as a member of the Fort Wayne TinCaps against the Great Lakes Loons in a game in the Single-A Midwest League.

The move of Latos to the bullpen also gives some insight into the Dodgers plans for the postseason. Leaving Wood in the rotation ahead of Latos would seem to indicate that he would be Los Angeles' fourth starter in October behind Kershaw, Greinke and Anderson should the need arise.

For now, moving Latos to the bullpen is a temporary measure because the Dodgers' schedule allows it, but it could have long-term implications regarding his future with the team.