PHOENIX — Yimi Garcia will not accompany the Dodgers for the Freeway Series and won’t be on the opening day roster, essentially locking in the opening day bullpen on the day major league camp wraps up in Arizona.
“Right now as we see it, we don’t see Yimi on our team,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Whether Garcia is optioned or placed on the disabled list to open the season remains to be seen.
Garcia pitched one inning on Saturday, allowing a solo home run to White Sox infielder Juan Perez. It was Garcia’s first game in six days and his second appearance in the last 10 days. The Dodgers have proceeded cautiously with Garcia who missed all of 2017 after Tommy John surgery and last pitched in a major league game on Apr. 22, 2016.
“Yimi is healthy but there is a progression, boxes that need to be checked, appreciating he hasn’t pitched in two years,” Roberts said. “We’re trying to be mindful of that with him.”
In six Cactus League games this spring Garcia posted a 6.35 ERA with five strikeouts and two walks in 5⅔ innings.
The Garcia transaction, whatever it is, plus pitcher Pat Venditte opening the season in Triple-A, would leave just 30 players major league camp, and with injuries to Justin Turner, Tom Koehler and Julio Urias it is effectively 27 players. It also effectively leaves only 13 pitchers, which means should the Dodgers carry eight relievers the opening day pitching staff is basically set:
- Starting pitchers (5): Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill, Hyun-jin Ryu
- Bullpen (8): Kenley Jansen, Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, J.T. Chargois, Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields, Wilmer Font, Ross Stripling
Font, who is out of options, pitched three innings on the back fields on Saturday at Camelback Ranch. He will travel with the Dodgers back to California but won’t pitch in the Freeway Series.
“He can make starts but for our roster we see him out of the pen,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers open their regular season on Thursday afternoon against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. Opening day rosters are due Wednesday.
The Freeway Series awaits, with the Dodgers facing the Angels for three games beginning Sunday night in Anaheim, followed by Monday and Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. There will be no formal workouts on Wednesday’s off day, though some players might workout on their own at Dodger Stadium.
In Sunday’s Freeway Series opener, Kenta Maeda starts for the Dodgers against Parker Bridwell. The 6:07 p.m. PT game will be televised by SportsNet LA as well as Fox Sports West. For those out of market the game will also be on MLB Network.