The Dodgers activated left-hander Victor Gonzalez from the injured list before Monday’s series opener against the Giants at Dodger Stadium, fulfilling manager Dave Roberts’ promise on Sunday to add a fresh arm to the bullpen.
Gonzalez was placed on the injured list on July 6 with left plantar fasciitis, though thanks in part to the All-Star break missed only nine games in his 13 days on the shelf. Gonzalez pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga in a minor league rehab assignment on Friday night.
He joins a Dodgers bullpen that has used 17 different pitchers in July. LA’s relievers are relatively rested thanks to the four-day All-Star break, but used six relief pitchers to cover the final six innings in Sunday’s series finale.
Roberts said before Sunday’s game that with Gonzalez, the decision was between activating him Monday or pitch another rehab game with Rancho Cucamonga, who is off today. “I think the possibility of him pitching for us Monday is pretty good,” said Roberts, who later added after Sunday’s game in Colorado that the team would in fact be adding a fresh arm.
There are 10 active relievers in the Dodgers bullpen, with Gonzalez added. Jake Reed was optioned to make room on the active roster.
In only his second year, Gonzalez has a secure place in Roberts’ circle of trust in the back end of the bullpen, third on the team with 36 appearances this season, behind only Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen. Gonzalez has a 2.57 ERA and 4.17 FIP with 26 strikeouts in 28 innings, though his 15 walks is a surprise after only walking six in 23 games as a rookie in the regular season and postseason combined.
Reed was added to the Dodgers’ roster on the road trip in Miami before the All-Star break. The 28-year-old right-hander made his major league debut on July 6, and pitched in six of the nine Dodgers games for which he was active, posting a 3.38 ERA in 5⅓ innings, with five strikeouts and two walks.