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2023 Dodgers in review: Blake Treinen

MLB: FEB 22 Los Angeles Dodgers Photo Day Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dodgers rarely reach contract extensions during the season, but in 2022 they did so with four players who either had upcoming club options or would be a free agent at the end of that season. Blake Treinen was the first of those contracts, and he’s been sidelined with shoulder problems for nearly all the time since.

Treinen had an $8 million club option for 2023, but the Dodgers guaranteed that amount with a contract extension in May 2022.

At the time, Treinen was on the injured list with a partial capsule tear in his right shoulder. He and the team opted against surgery at the time, in part because his shoulder scarred quicker than expected, allowing him to rehab sooner than expected. The hope was to have Treinen ready for the postseason, but his September return was cut short after only two appearances, he was back on the injured list with shoulder tightness.

Treinen did pitch once in the 2022 playoffs, but his major league innings odometer last year ran to only six total innings.

That was six more innings than in 2023.

This year, Treinen was recovering from surgery that he had last November to repair his labrum and rotator cuff. His return to the mound this year was always a long shot, but the hope was he might be ready at some point in September, such that he might be an option for October.

After all, when Treinen was on the mound with the Dodgers, he’s been mostly excellent, including a 1.99 ERA, 2.45 xERA, and 29.7-percent strikeout rate in 2021. His 72 games that season are the most by any Dodgers pitcher in a season in the last five years.

Treinen did pitch in three minor league rehab games, the last of which came on August 29 with Triple-A Oklahoma City. After that he was shut down, with his shoulder not recovering as he hoped.

2023 particulars

Age: 35

Stats: 3 games in minors, 2⅓ IP, 3 runs, 1 BB, 2 K

Salary: $8 million

Game of the year

Sure it was only against rookie-level competition in the Arizona Complex League, but August 22 was Treinen’s first game on a mound in nearly 11 months, so that counted for something, at least.

Pitching against the Cubs’ ACL team at Camelback Ranch, Treinen opened the game with a perfect first inning, striking out his first two batters.

Roster status

The Dodgers exercised Treinen’s 2024 club option on November 5. He’ll earn a reported $1 million base salary next season.