The Dodgers on Wednesday activated Caleb Ferguson off the injured list after the left-hander missed 18 games with left forearm tendinitis. The Dodgers bullpen is back to eight members, with Ryan Pepiot sent back to Triple-A Oklahoma City the day after a start for the fourth time in four tries this season.
Pepiot had his best major league start to date on Tuesday, striking out six and allowing only one run in five innings. He only walked one batter, earned his first major league win, and pushed back the other five members of the starting rotation, who will all start on five days rest instead of four through the weekend.
This is the third time Pepiot has been optioned this season.
Ferguson last pitched on June 14, over three weeks ago, his absence coinciding with nearly all of the Dodgers’ stretch of 20 games in 20 days which ends on Sunday. Ferguson was dealing with neck soreness at a time when the Dodgers played every day, and MLB reduced roster limits from 14 to 13 pitchers on June 20, so the Dodgers opted to have Ferguson rest on the injured list rather than be able to pitch once only every two or three days or so.
After rehabbing from Tommy John surgery to make his return to the majors in May, only to be sent to the minors after one game, then to be placed on the injured list, Ferguson expressed frustration at the move.
“I went through a longer rehab process than what I thought — and not really by choice, but that was what the team thought was best for me,” Ferguson told Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times. “I did it. I shut my mouth and did it. And I feel like we’re kind of going back on with that.”
Ferguson has yet to allow a hit or a run in his six games in the majors this season, striking out five and walking four in his five innings.