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Mike Adams will begin season in Triple-A Oklahoma City

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Photo: Jon SooHoo | LA Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers have told relief pitcher Mike Adams that he won't make the opening day roster, he said on Tuesday. The 36-year-old non-roster invitee will begin the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City.

"It's a little bit disappointing. I thought I was coming in with an opportunity to make the team. They felt that they didn't want to rush me and cram my innings in, which I understand," Adams said. "Hopefully it's something that won't take long."

Tuesday at 9 a.m. PT was the deadline for the Dodgers to tell Adams, a six-year major league free agent signed to a minor league deal, whether or not he made the team. The team could have released Adams, but instead will keep him on his minor league contract and pay him a retention bonus of $100,000, per the collective bargaining agreement.

Adams missed the better part of the last two seasons with the Phillies with right shoulder surgery to repair two labrum tears and a torn rotator cuff, then missed three more months in 2014 with right rotator cuff inflammation.

"I feel like the ball is coming out of my hand good right now. I'm bouncing back good now, I'm not as sore as I was earlier in camp," Adams said. "Health-wise I've been good. I haven't had any outings I've felt bad at all. I've just been inconsistent with performance."

Adams has pitched in five Cactus League games for the Dodgers, allowing five runs on seven hits in 4⅔ innings, with five strikeouts and two walks.

On Monday manager Don Mattingly said that Adams, who signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers on March 1, 10 days after pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch, was behind the pace of most in camp.

"He's been okay. He's been a guy we feel like is getting stronger as camp goes on. We thought he was a tick behind coming into camp. We just haven't gotten him to a point where the other guys are at," Mattingly said. "He's been every couple of days. We're working him toward every other day, then back-to-back."

Adams, who pitched on Monday in Salt River, said he would pitch Thursday in Anaheim in the Freeway Series, then likely again on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. He will then return to Arizona and likely pitch in back-to-back games next week. Oklahoma City begins their schedule on Thursday, April 9.

With Tuesday's decision, Adams gets a built-in opt-out clause of June 1, meaning he can become a free agent if not added to the Dodgers' active roster by then.

"I've taken their word that if I do what I have to do I'll be back up," Adams said. "It's totally going to come down to me. I have to prove I'm still healthy, able to bounce back and do all the stuff I need to do."