The Dodgers signed reliever Alex Reyes in February with the hopes he might eventually join the bullpen later in the season, plus a club option that could keep him around in 2024 as well. Now, the most likely outcome is that the right-hander never pitches for the Dodgers at all.
Reyes had a second surgery on his shoulder on Friday, reports Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:
Reyes started a throwing program near the end of spring training with an eye on being ready to join the Dodgers in mid-season. But pain in his shoulder returned as he increased the intensity of his throwing sessions and Reyes was shut down. More damage was found in another area of his shoulder (not the repaired labrum) and he underwent surgery on Friday. The recovery time is expected to be at least 12 months.
Reyes last pitched in 2021, giving up Chris Taylor’s walk-off home run to win the wild card game at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander missed all of 2022 and had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. This time, Plunkett reports, Reyes won’t be available until midseason 2024.
The Dodgers signed Reyes to a one-year contract that guaranteed him $1.1 million. That included a $1-million salary for 2023 and a $100,000 buyout should his $3-million club option for 2024 get declined.
The Dodgers haven’t necessarily shied away from retaining injured pitchers in recent years. Last year, Blake Trreinen and Daniel Hudson signed new deals for 2023 at the price of their option-year salary, plus another option tacked on. The Dodgers declined Jimmy Nelson’s option last November, but re-signed him in February to a fourth consecutive one-year contract.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Reyes return, though perhaps on a new deal that includes another option for 2025.
Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior said of Bobby Miller, to Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic, “He doesn’t back down. ... It’s always a question when guys are coming up. You talk about the look in the eyes — is the moment going to be too big or are they going to make the moment too big themselves?”
Miller’s confidence shined through in his postgame comments on Saturday. From Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times:
“There’s a couple barrels out there that got caught,” Miller said when asked if he has surprised himself with his performance thus far. “But other than that, not really, if I’m executing all my stuff.”
Dave Roberts told reporters Sunday that one of the reasons the Dodgers opted for a bullpen game rather than start Tony Gonsolin on four days rest is that the right-hander has had trouble recovering between starts.
Dave Roberts on the pitching plan for today's finale and a few player updates. pic.twitter.com/w1F3rcHJ3I— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 11, 2023
“He’s never been a great in-between starts guy. But I still believe that, in talking to our pitching guys, the recover is just not where it has been,” Roberts said, per SportsNet LA. “Seeing that, what can we do to put him in the best position to have great outings when he does pitch.”
It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers handle this upcoming week, because Gonsolin is lined up to start Tuesday, and would be in line to start Sunday, too, on four days rest. The Dodgers will also need to fill a start on Saturday as well, with Julio Urías not yet ready to return from his hamstring injury.