The Dodgers on Friday shuffled a pair of bullpen arms who have struggled this season, activating right-hander Phil Bickford from the injured list, and optioning left-hander Alex Vesia to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Vesia has a 7.58 ERA and 4.64 xERA in 19 innings in the majors this season, and Bickford has a 7.33 ERA and 5.37 xERA in 27 innings. Neither have been good. Vesia has options and Bickford doesn’t, and Bickford wasn’t going to stay on the injured list forever.
Bickford is back after missing 16 games with lower back tightness. He pitched a scoreless inning for Oklahoma City on Tuesday, striking out one, in his only minor league rehab appearance.
This is the second time Vesia has been optioned this season. After a blowup outing in his first game back in Triple-A on May 4, Vesia seemed to find his groove with Oklahoma City, striking out 18 of his next 37 batters in 9⅓ innings over nine games, allowing only an unearned run.
Since returning to the majors, Vesia had a 7.27 ERA in 8⅔ innings with 15 strikeouts and six walks. He pitched a scoreless inning on Wednesday in Anaheim, including a strikeout of Mike Trout.