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Mat Latos Released by Dodgers: Details, Comments and Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Mat Latos works against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to bolster an already-formidable starting rotation at the trade deadline when they added Mat Latos from the Miami Marlins, but the right-handed pitcher is no longer with the team as they announced his release on Friday.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports noted Los Angeles designated Latos for assignment on Sept. 17. Fox Sports MLB reported the Dodgers reinstated pitcher Carlos Frias from the 60-day disabled list to take Latos’ spot.

Latos looked like a critical addition when he threw six innings of one-run baseball in his first start with the team following the trade with Miami, but he didn’t even finish the fifth inning in his next four outings. In all, Latos tallied a 6.66 ERA in 24.1 innings of disappointing work with Los Angeles.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times put Latos’ fall from grace into context during the pitcher’s most recent outing:   

Bill Shaikin @BillShaikin

Mat Latos has gone from prize trade-deadline acquisition to 11th pitcher into the game, in 16th inning, at 12:20 a.m.

That is a far cry from Latos’ five straight seasons with less than a 3.50 ERA coming into the 2015 campaign, including a standout 2010 campaign with the San Diego Padres that saw him post a 2.92 ERA, a sparkling 1.08 WHIP and 189 strikeouts.

D.J. Short of NBC Sports pointed out that “the Dodgers won’t need a fifth starter during the postseason, so they apparently decided to turn the page and open up a spot on the 40-man roster.”

Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are arguably the top two pitchers in the league, and, as Short alluded to, the Dodgers can pitch them multiple times in a short playoff series instead of worrying about the back end of the rotation.

As for Latos, he is set to become a free agent following the season, per Spotrac. It is safe to assume his performance with the Dodgers potentially cost him millions of dollars on the open market, although his track record should earn him an opportunity with another squad.

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