Blake Hawksworth was a nice addition to the Dodgers bullpen last year, but an elbow injury has muddled his future with the team.
The pitcher was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for Ryan Theriot in November 2010, and he was solid in relief though his role changed near the end of the year. Hawksworth had eight walks and 24 strikeouts in 25 innings over the final three months of the year, but also had a 5.76 ERA and was essentially relegated to mopup duty late in the season, with eight of his final 11 appearances coming with a lead or deficit of three runs our more.
Hawksworth had arthroscopic elbow surgery on January 11 to clean up scar tissue, and the procedure wasn't expected to keep him out of spring training. But his elbow became infected, which required a second January procedure to treat that.
That has set Hawksworth back to the point that he has thrown sporadically but currently is not throwing. The Dodgers placed the reliever on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Jamey Wright on Tuesday.
"He's been working extremely hard, he's doing everything he can possibly do," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's been long enough without throwing, even if he was 100% with no restrictions whatsoever it's going to take him a spring training at least to get his arm strength up."
Hawksworth is out of options, and the Dodgers will have a decision to make once he is ready to return, which is expected to be late May or perhaps early June.
Hawksworth in 2012 will donate $100 per strikeout and $100 per Dodger win to "Not for Sale," an organization which fights human trafficking.
Hawksworth is on Twitter at @BlakeHawk425.
Hawksworth has two years, 108 days of service time. He is out of options.
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I think Hawksworth finds a spot when he comes back, and puts up a 3.82 ERA in 33 innings, with 28 strikeouts.
What is your prediction? Be sure to guess Hawksworth's ERA, number of innings pitched, plus anything else you would like to predict.