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Rehabbing Dodgers relievers & the roster decisions coming

Blake Treinen & Tommy Kahnle pitched Saturday for Oklahoma City

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Los Angeles Dodgers v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Four Dodgers relievers currently on the 60-day injured list are on minor league rehab assignments, which means roster decisions are due at various points in September.

Blake Treinen, out since April with shoulder inflammation, pitched the last two nights for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and is expected to rejoin the Dodgers next weekend once they return home to Los Angeles.

Tommy Kahnle, out since May with a bone bruise in his right elbow, pitched Saturday for Oklahoma City. Left-hander Victor González, who had arthroscopic elbow surgery in May, pitched for OKC on Friday, the third game of his Triple-A tour. Danny Duffy, who hadn’t pitched since July 2021 and had offseason flexor tendon surgery, moved his rehab to Low-A Rancho Cucamonga with a scoreless inning on Friday.

Odds are, not all four pitchers will return to the majors this season. But one or a few might. But either way, the clock has already started for all of them.

Rehab assignments for pitchers are allowed to last up to 30 days. For position players, the limit is 20 days, which came into play with Edwin Ríos. After missing two months with a hamstring strain, Ríos was on a rehab assignment in Triple-A. But on August 17, after his 20 days were up, the Dodgers had to activate him from the 60-day injured list. But because there was no room on the active roster, Ríos was simultaneously optioned to remain with Oklahoma City.

Let’s look at the relevant dates for the four Dodgers relievers currently on rehab.

Dodgers pitchers currently on rehab assignments

Pitcher First rehab game 30th rehab day Decision day
Pitcher First rehab game 30th rehab day Decision day
Blake Treinen Aug 12 Sep 10 Sep 11
Victor González Aug 16 Sep 14 Sep 15
Danny Duffy Aug 20 Sep 18 Sep 19
Tommy Kahnle Aug 24 Sep 22 Sep 23

Major league rules allow for pitchers returning from UCL reconstruction surgery to consent to up to three 10-day extensions of their rehab assignments, though none of these four pitchers are coming back from that procedure. Any rehab extension past 30 days requires either a new injury or recurrence of the current injury, and must be approved by the commissioner’s office.

In other words, once those 30 days are up, the Dodgers will have to make room for these pitchers on the 40-man roster, in addition to considering whether to add them to the active roster. González is the only one of the group with an option year remaining.

Choices will have to be made in September.


Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic wrote about how the Dodgers’ “Big Three” of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner have been driving the offense. Notable is that, at Freeman’s suggestion in June, the team began to limit the number of iPads in the dugout, so players weren’t so caught up in overanalyzing their own at-bats. “When you’re trying to do it all yourself, it usually doesn’t work,” Freeman told Ardaya. “When you know you have trust and a conversation with your teammates, that’s huge … it frees you.”

Ben Clemens at FanGraphs looked into why soft liners are less-valued in baseball, but also noted that Freeman is the best at maximizing this soft liners, with over 24 percent of his soft line drives at the “ideal angles.” That’s a good explanation why his hit total is so high.

Former Dodger and current Blue Jays pitcher Mitch White talked with SportsNet, which included this praise of Clayton Kershaw (start at about 20:38 of this video): “Obviously he’s a legend, but he’s also a guy who’s just so disciplined with what he does. He knows exactly what he’s trying to do, and it’s about the execution for him. ... He’s just better than the hitters. He beats them up, wears them down, and that’s it.”

James Outman had a heck of a Friday in Triple-A, completing his cycle with a walk-off home run for Oklahoma City, his fifth hit of the game, giving him six RBI in a game for the third time in his last 19 Triple-A games. After the walk-off winner, he told Stephanie Sheehan of, “I had chills running around the bases. ... Seeing the whole team standing there, getting doused with the whole bucket of freezing water, it’s really fun. There are a lot of emotions going through your head, and it’s just really fun celebrating with the team.”

Lots of Dodgers talk on Thursday’s episode of the Effectively Wild podcast at FanGraphs, hosted by Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley.

If you’re into contract minutiae, Tim Booth at the Associated Press has details on the megadeal signed by Mariners star rookie outfielder Julio Rodríguez, which is guaranteed for a minimum $209.3 million over 12 years, but with a series of options and bonus incentives could be worth as much as $469 million over 17 years.