As fans and geeks got to live out their fantasy at Star Wars night in Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, David Huff got to live out a different childhood fantasy. With the Dodgers’ plan of using off days to reset their four-man rotation finally hitting a wall, they turned to 30-year-old Southern California nativeand die-hard Dodgers fan.
Through and through, Huff is one of LA’s own. He pitched for the UCLA Bruins with the belief and hope that he would not only play in the big leagues, but for his beloved Dodgers.
Huff started his Major League career with the Cleveland Indians in 2009, posted a 5.61 ERA in 23 starts and has never started in more games since. He pitched for the New York Yankees from 2013-14 as a reliever and finished last season with the San Francisco Giants.
He won a World Series ring for the Giants and had the audacity to try to make the Dodgers bullpen out of Spring Training as a non-roster invitee this year. Huff failed and started the season in Triple-A with the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
The Dodgers gave Huff, who had not started a major league game since September of 2013 with the Yankees, his chance and when asking about his impending start on Tuesday, the look on his face was one filled with adrenaline and anxiety.
“I’m just trying to go as long as I can, until my body literally quits,” Huff said, “but obviously injury-free.”
Huff tried to be calm, cool and collected against the Mariners on Tuesday but
back-to-back home runs by Seattle’s super slugging duo of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz put him down 3-0 in the first inning and on the ropes from the start.
“I didn’t have all my pitches working for me tonight,” Huff said after the game. “I left a few pitches up and they obviously capitalized on them.”
Huff gave up four runs on seven hits in four innings pitched and was bailed out by a walk-off base hit by second baseman Howie Kendrick. He was only on the mound as a spot start, given that they have sent down Darwin Barney to Triple-A Oklahoma City to bring him up. He was recently designated for assignment on Wednesday and replaced by fellow pitcher Carlos Frias, but he still hopes to return soon enough.
“Hopefully I’ll get another chance,” Huff said. “I haven’t heard anything yet, but they usually keep me in the dark.”
Tony Capobianco started the SMDP column “Cap Space” just in time for the 2014-15 Clippers season. You can contact him via email at email@example.com.