LOS ANGELES — One day after having a momentary recurrence of the yips, Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation.
The knee-jerk reaction would be to assume this is a phantom injury, but McCarthy has in fact been dealing with knee tendinitis off and on for most of the season.
“There was a flare-up with his knee that he’s been dealing with,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s dealt with it all year.”
This is one of a series of roster moves made by the Dodgers on Monday. They also optioned Ross Stripling to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and recalled Trayce Thompson and Brock Stewart from Triple-A.
McCarthy was shut down for a month in August and September 2016 after completely losing the strike zone, walking five in three straight starts after not walking more than three in any start since 2009. On Sunday, he threw three wild pitches in a three-run second inning, and had a more specific problem, unable to throw his cutter where he wanted.
“If you look at yesterday, the first and third inning was good, and it was just that second inning, and it was just one pitch he couldn’t get command of,” Roberts said. “Brandon’s been very good for us, and I don’t think this is anywhere near what it was last year.”
McCarthy has been one of the Dodgers’ most effective starters in 2017, posting a 3.25 ERA in 13 starts, with 57 strikeouts and 20 walks in 72 innings.
“He’s worked harder than anyone, because of not only physically what he had to recover from, but mentally,” Roberts said. “To have some of that going on in the second inning, I felt for him.
“The thing with Brandon is that he talks about it. He’s not afraid to face some things head on, to his credit.”
This is the second DL stint this season for McCarthy, who was sidelined for a couple starts in May with left shoulder soreness. Roberts said he expects McCarthy to make another start for the Dodgers before the All-Star break.
The earliest date McCarthy could be activated is Thursday, July 6, which leaves four games before the break for him to start, potentially.