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Tony Cingrani lands on disabled list with shoulder strain

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Taxed bullpen adds Baez & Paredes as reinforcements

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Dodgers brought up a pair of reinforcements for a bullpen that has been extraordinarily taxed on this road trip and over the last week and a half. But they also lost Tony Cingrani to the disabled list for a second time this season, this time with a left shoulder strain.

Cingrani walked the only batter he faced on Wednesday night, and averaged 91.5 mph on his fastball, down from 94.57 mph on the season.

Cingrani also missed eight games in May on the DL with left shoulder inflammation.

Pedro Baez returns one day after getting optioned, able to return because he’s replacing an injured player. Joining Baez is reliever Edward Paredes, also recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Caleb Ferguson was optioned back to Triple-A one day after making his major league debut.

Ferguson’s debut ended earlier than planned, needing 40 pitches in the second inning alone, a frame he could not complete. It was the third time in the last nine games a Dodgers starter failed to reach the third inning, and that’s not counting when the team flipped roles and started reliever Scott Alexander for the first four outs last Friday.

Starting lineups

Pos Dodgers Pos Pirates
Pos Dodgers Pos Pirates
CF Pederson (L) 2B Harrison
3B Muncy (L) RF Polanco (L)
C Grandal (S) CF Marte
RF Kemp 1B Bell (S)
1B Bellinger (L) LF Dickerson (L)
SS Taylor 3B Moran (L)
2B Valera (S) C Diaz
CF Hernandez SS Mercer
P Santana P Taillon
Time: 9:35 a.m. PT TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network

Including the 6⅓ innings on Wednesday, the Dodgers bullpen has pitched 26⅔ innings on the road trip, with 25 appearances in five games. Going back further to include the Phillies series at home, the Dodgers bullpen has pitched 45 of the 80 total innings on the staff.

This counts Alexander’s outing Friday as a reliever, and Dennis Santana ‘s following stint as a “starter.” The air quotes are removed for Santana on Thursday, getting the start on getaway for the Dodgers, who are starting to feel the effects of having 80% of their starting rotation on the disabled list.

Losing Cingrani is a huge blow. In a bullpen that has been mostly disappointing this season (3.95 ERA, 3.83 FIP) though much better of late (3.43 ERA since May 1), the best three relievers have been Kenley Jansen, Cingrani and Ross Stripling, the latter who is now excelling in the rotation.

Here’s a look at the workload of late of the Dodgers in the pen heading into the finale in Pittsburgh:

  • Josh Fields: pitched last two days and 3 of last 4 days
  • Scott Alexander: pitched last two days
  • Daniel Hudson: pitched last two days
  • Brock Stewart: pitched two innings Wednesday, 3⅔ innings in last four days
  • Yimi Garcia: pitched Wednesday, only appearance in previous three days
  • Erik Goeddel: pitched Wednesday, only appearance in previous three days
  • Paredes: pitched Tuesday, only appearance in previous three days
  • Baez: pitched Tuesday, only appearance in previous four days
  • Jansen: last pitched Sunday

The Dodgers have only used a reliever three straight days just once in the regular season dating back to last June, and that was Jansen from May 1-3 this season, which likely means Fields, Alexander and Hudson are unavailable on Thursday, and possibly Stewart too.

That’s why Baez and Paredes are back up.

Game info

Time: 9:35 a.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network