NEW YORK -- Zach Lee has been waiting for this moment all his baseball life.
The 23-year-old righty came to the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization as a first-round pick in 2010, and now he's finally making his major league debut, starting Saturday against the Mets at Citi Field.
"Zach is a guy that's very controlled," manager Don Mattingly said, sitting in the dugout before the game. "You're not going to see him as a power pitcher. You're going to see him as a guy that can add and subtract. He can use both sides of the plate."
This start opened up when Brandon Beachy was sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, lugging along a 7.88 ERA in two starts, including a loss and a no-decision. Lee was the owner of a 7-3 record and a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts with Oklahoma City.
Los Angeles called him up as a 26th man for a doubleheader last Saturday at Washington, but he didn't appear and was sent right back down.
"He was throwing really well this year in Triple-A," Mattingly said. "He had a little small setback, but that kind of resolved itself. He's been sharp, really. He would've been up earlier if [not for] the little thing he had going on with his fingers."
Ian Thomas started Friday for Zack Greinke against the Mets and pitched well, yielding one run and three hits over five innings to earn a 7-2 win. But Thomas was sent down to Triple-A to make room for Lee.
Greinke missed the start because he flew back to California on Thursday to be with his wife, Emily, for the birth of their first child. Bode Nicholas Greinke made his debut that night at 6 pounds, 5 ounces. The proud father rejoined the team Saturday and will put his 43 2/3 scoreless innings streak in play again Sunday in the series finale. He politely declined to talk about the arrival of his son.
"I don't feel it's anyone's business," Greinke said.
The Dodgers have Monday off, then open a two-game series at home Tuesday night against the Oakland A's. Mattingly said Brett Anderson, who left his last start in the third inning because of soreness in his left Achilles, is set to pitch the opener. Clayton Kershaw, the owner of a 29-inning scoreless streak, is set to start Wednesday night.
Adrian Gonzalez sat out Friday's win over the Mets and the first baseman wasn't in Mattingly's original lineup for Saturday's game. Mattingly said Gonzalez woke up Friday with stiffness in his neck. But Mattingly didn't rule him out for this latest game, depending on how Gonzalez felt in batting practice. And Mattingly indeed revised the lineup with Gonzalez included in the cleanup spot.
"It seems like he has it every year where he'll miss a couple of days," Mattingly said.