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Ian Thomas becomes first former Rev to play for two MLB teams

Ian Thomas action

Ian Thomas in action with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time on June 2 at Coors Field in Denver. Thomas pitched three innings in game one of a doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies.

MLB rules stipulate that when teams play a doubleheader, each club may carry a 26th player for that day only.  That player is almost always a pitcher, for the obvious reason of managers not wanting to stretch a pitching staff too thin.  For the Dodgers doubleheader at Colorado on June 2, they called up former Revolution LHP Ian Thomas (’12) as their 26th player.

Dodgers reliever Juan Nicaso made the spot start against the Rockies in the early game, but was only slated to pitch two innings, with Thomas coming in immediately after.  Thomas pitched the third through fifth innings, his first appearance for Los Angeles since the Dodgers traded for him off the Braves’ Major League roster on May 27 as part of the Juan Uribe-Alberto Callaspo deal.  Thomas was immediately sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City following the trade, where he had made just one appearance, two and a third innings at Salt Lake on May 28.  He hadn’t pitched since, in preparation for him being the second man out in game one of the double-header.

Unfortunately for Thomas the results could have been better in his Dodgers debut, as he surrendered five hits and four earned runs in three innings, with two walks and a strikeout.  Thomas allowed a two-run homer to Rockies catcher Michael McKenry in the fourth, just the second home run Thomas has allowed in 22 Major League games, after making the Braves opening day roster out of spring training last season.  The other was hit by Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton in Atlanta on April 30.  The three innings Thomas pitched on June 2 was his longest MLB outing to date, and he took the loss in a 6-3 Rockies victory.

Thomas, one of eight former Revolution players to reach the Majors, and one of just two to make his MLB debut after playing for York, is the first former Rev to play for two MLB clubs after his time with York.  After he was traded to the Dodgers, we hoped his new organization would provide him with an extended MLB look, after he spent a season and a quarter as a swing man back and forth between Triple-A and Atlanta.

So despite being the 26th man call-up for the doubleheader at Colorado, a situation where that player is often sent right back to Triple-A the following day, Thomas may be getting a chance to stick with L.A.  As of the morning of June 3 he was still on the Dodgers active roster, and Los Angeles opted to take off fellow LHP David Huff, who was designated for assignment.  Seemingly, that would open up a spot for Thomas to take Huff’s spot as a lefty in their bullpen.

If any Revolution fans are looking to see Thomas in person with the Dodgers, should he remain in the big leagues, L.A. plays at Washington July 17-19, then has a six-game road trip through Pennsylvania; in Philadelphia August 4-6 and Pittsburgh August 7-9.

-Paul Braverman

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