MIAMI, Florida -- In a flurry of roster moves, the Dodgers brought up a fresh arm for their fatigued bullpen on Friday, recalling Jose Dominguez from Triple-A Albuquerque. But the cost is quite high, as Hyun-Jin Ryu was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation, retroactive to April 28.
Ryu was 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in seven starts this season, including 26 scoreless innings on the road. He allowed six runs in a loss to the Rockies last Sunday.
Mattingly said Ryu has shoulder inflammation. Cropped up after last start and did not improve. No MRI planned.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 2, 2014
Ryu was scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Sunday. Unless someone starts on three days rest, the Dodgers will need to bring up another starter to pitch Sunday.
Chone Figgins was also recalled from Albuquerque, and he is starting at third base in the opener against the Marlins. Paco Rodriguez, who threw 29 pitches Wednesday and 19 more on Thursday, was 'returned' back to Triple-A, per the team.
Dominguez was just optioned on Sunday, and otherwise could not have been recalled without replacing an injured player. Dominguez last pitched on Monday for the Isotopes, throwing two scoreless innings.
The Dodgers also optioned Red Patterson back to Triple-A one night after making his major league debut in the second game of the doubleheader against the Twins. Patterson was originally added as a 26th player to the active roster, allowed for doubleheaders, but it appears the Dodgers changed their mind for extra flexibility, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
What the club actually did was declare reliever Paco Rodriguez as the 26th man, even though he was already on the active roster, and purchase the contract of Patterson to be on the 25-man roster.
Both players went back to the Minors on Friday, but Patterson was optioned and Rodriguez was "returned." Patterson must remain in the Minor Leagues at least 10 days unless he replaces an injured Dodgers pitcher, but Rodriguez can be recalled at any time.
Figgins was optioned to Triple-A on April 21, and in eight games with the Isotopes he hit .280/.419/.360 and started games at third base, second base, shortstop and left field. In nine games with the Dodgers this season, Figgins is 1-for-6 with three walks.
Dodgers relievers have thrown 105 innings, second most in baseball behind the Diamondbacks. But it's not just the Australia trip that inflated these totals. Even removing the two games in Sydney, Arizona would be first and the Dodgers third in relief innings this season.
Unlike the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers' starting staff hasn't been putrid, but seven extra-inning games in 24 days, including three 12-inning contests, have taken their toll on the bullpen. Thursday's doubleheader, finished off with a 12-inning game, only exacerbated the problem.
Seven different relievers combined to pitch 9⅔ innings on Thursday. Even with a 13-man pitching staff, including an eight-man bullpen, these pitchers range from limited to downright unavailable on Friday:
- Kenley Jansen: leads baseball with 18 games (would be tied for lead without Australia trip), made 34 pitches Thursday and 14 more Wednesday, has yet to pitch on three consecutive days this season.
- J.P. Howell: tied for second in baseball with 16 appearances), made 14 pitches Thursday, 18 on Wednesday, and like Jansen has yet to pitch on three straight days this season.
- Brian Wilson: has been clamoring for regular duty to get back on track, but has yet to pitch three consecutive days this year. He threw 16 pitches Thursday and 15 on Wednesday.
- Jamey Wright: pitched three innings and threw 48 pitches on Thursday
- Rodriguez: he was recalled for the Twins series, but two appearances and 48 pitches over two days made him the easy choice to go back down.
The Dodgers' next scheduled off day is May 15.
The Dodgers will need to make another pitching roster move to activate Clayton Kershaw from the disabled list in Washington D.C., but it's looking like his start might come Tuesday instead of Monday.
Kershaw said his bullpen session is tomorrow, indicating he starts Tuesday, not Monday.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 2, 2014
Greinke starts Monday, Kershaw Tuesday, if everything is fine with them, Mattingly said.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 2, 2014