The Dodgers bullpen figures to have a different look as early as Friday, with the potential addition of Brian Wilson. But come September there will be even more reinforcements. One of those could be Shawn Tolleson, who has moved his minor league rehab assignment to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Tolleson had surgery on April 25 to repair a herniated disc in his lower back, and has missed nearly four months. He pitched one rehab game for the AZL Dodgers on Sunday, pitching one scoreless inning with a walk.
After beginning the season with Triple-A Albuquerque, Tolleson was recalled on Apr. 12 after Zack Greinke broke his collarbone in San Diego. Tolleson appeared in just one game for the Dodgers, and walked both batters he faced. He needs to return if only to avoid becoming the fourth Dodgers pitcher to face at least two batters in a season and not record an out. The last to do so was Cal McLish in 1946.
Another returning reliever will be Jose Dominguez, who was placed on the disabled list on July 23 with a left quad strain. Dominguez, owner of the second-fastest average fastball in MLB at 98.5 mph, put up a 2.16 ERA in nine games, with four strikeouts and three walks in his first stint in the big leagues.
Dominguez has been rehabbing at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. His return schedule just happens to coincide with the timing of rosters expanding on September 1. How convenient.
"From the emails I'm reading, he's still kind of going slow. He hasn't really gotten to where he's throwing off flat ground. He is just starting to play catch from a certain distance," manager Don Mattingly said on Friday. "He's been moving a little slow. If he was ready by (September) first that would be optimistic."
Add in others on the 40-man roster, like Javy Guerra (2.23 ERA, 27 strikeouts in 32⅓ innings in Triple-A Albuquerque) and Peter Moylan (.303 ERA, 39 strikeouts in 38⅔ innings with the Isotopes), plus Stephen Fife as the sixth starter and potential long man in the bullpen, and the Dodgers have quite a selection of helpful arms to add as reinforcements in September.