Posted on August 14, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Injuries have struck the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff once again. The Dodgers are expected to place starter Brandon McCarthy on the 15-day DL due to a hip injury. McCarthy says he expects to go on the DL after he lasted just 1.2 innings in his start Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing three runs on two hits and five walks. It will be his second stint on the DL this season.
McCarthy returned to the Dodgers in early July after recovering from Tommy John surgery, which limited him to just four starts in 2015. Initially, McCarthy provided a big boost to a Los Angeles rotation that was desperate for both healthy bodies and competent starters. In the five starts McCarthy made in July, he posted a 2.39 ERA. However, in his last three starts, including Saturday, McCarthy has pitched a combined 8.1 innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) and walking 15 batters over that span, as his control has been virtually non-existent.
“Obviously, something wasn’t right,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after McCarthy’s start Saturday. “You see the frustration. He feels like he’s letting the team down. I feel for him and his teammates feel for him. We’ve got to get him right and get him back.”
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The Dodgers have not made his move to the DL official just yet, but when asked about it after Saturday’s game, McCarthy said, “I don’t know how much more of that they want to see, so I would guess that’s a yes.” The righty says he doesn’t know exactly what’s wrong with his hip, but it’s obvious to him that something is affecting his performance. “Something’s in there and I can’t really work through it now. I don’t know what that’s getting in the way of, but it just keeps going. Just couldn’t break it up and couldn’t work through it.”
Roberts believes McCarthy injured his hip while trying field a bunt during his August 2 start. The inning after he attempted to field the bunt is when McCarthy’s control began to wane. “I need some time off,” McCarthy said Saturday. “I need my body where I need it. Mentally, physically, everything needs to be back in line. There’s enough going on coming back from the surgery. Adding new layers of stuff isn’t helpful. Whatever that takes to get back, I have to make sure it gets done.”
As has been the case all season, a Dodgers starter going to the DL will have plenty of company. McCarthy will join Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Bud Norris, Brett Anderson, and the recently acquired Rich Hill, who is yet to make his Dodgers debut. The good news is that Anderson is scheduled to be activated Sunday to make his season debut, while Norris threw a rehab start on Saturday and figures to take over McCarthy’s spot in the rotation. The Dodgers also believe Hill will be ready to make his debut with the team next weekend. However, there is still no timetable for Kershaw’s return.
Amidst all the injuries this season, the Dodgers are just one game behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. At the same time, they have built a rather comfortable 4.5 game lead for the top wild card spot. It’s been amazing, and quite surprising, to see the Dodgers persevere through the all the injuries to their starting pitchers. On one hand, one has to wonder how much longer they can keep going with so many key starters missing. But on the other hand, one has to think about how good the Dodgers can be if they ever get their rotation fully health.