Many fans are wondering at what point the Dodgers will begin stirring the pot as the hot stove season quickly approaches, yet if the team can bring back a productive Yasiel Puig next week, and a healthy Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu and Andre Ethier sometime in July, the club may be in a position to transform the roster without even having to make a trade.
“I think that everyone is always looking to get better at the deadline,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We’ll see where we are at that point. When we do have a possibility of Ryu and McCarthy coming back, that makes us better.”
In his first inning of work, McCarthy retired the side in order on a fly ball and two ground outs. In the second frame, he gave up a solo home run, a walk, two ground outs and a fly out.
“At least knowing that I crossed hurdle one, which is game action and being able to get out there and feel all right is a great sign,” McCarthy said. “There’s a lot to do when you are doing it, you are trying to assess how your arm feels, how your stuff is, what you can do and can’t do.”
McCarthy will throw again when the Quakes face the San Jose Giants on Thursday.
One day later, Ryu began yet another attempt at rehabbing his shoulder by pitching three innings for Rancho on Sunday.
Ryu threw 46 pitches while allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
This is Ryu’s second official attempt at returning to the Dodgers’ rotation. His first rehab assignment was aborted after three starts when he experienced discomfort in his surgically repaired shoulder.
Ryu is scheduled to appear for the Quakes again on Friday, also against San Jose.
Puig, who had been suffering from hamstring complications, went 1-for-2 with a home run in his first rehab game for Rancho on Monday against Lancaster. In Tuesday’s game, he was 1-for-1 with a single and a walk while being caught trying to steal second base. He was given a day to rest on Wednesday.
Puig is expected to stick with the Quakes through the weekend before potentially rejoining the Dodgers when they open a three-game set against the Nationals at home on Monday.
Elsewhere, Ethier still has hopes of joining the Dodgers sometime around the All-Star break. He joined the club for the three-game series against the Diamondbacks earlier in the week, and is expected to have another bone scan before the weekend, possibly resulting in the go-ahead to participate in baseball related activities.
In the meantime, all he’s able to do now are one-handed swings, light games of catch and workouts on an elliptical machine.
“You always think you can bounce back quicker than you do, and this was one of those,” Ethier said. “In my downtime I did a little research into other athletes that have suffered it and you see this is right on the timetable and is still sooner than when most of those guys returned.”
Montas has now gone four innings in back-to-back starts and has a 2.25 ERA and 22 strikeouts against three walks in 16 innings since returning from rib resection surgery.
Some signs are pointing towards Montas being utilized as a starter, although many believe that he could be better suited as a setup man in the big league bullpen.
“The training staff assured me it was better than yesterday,” manager Dave Roberts said on Wednesday. “It just got him in a really, I guess, in the best possible spot because there are bones to each side to where he could have gotten hit, but it got him in the flesh, the muscle, so that tissue was better than a bone where you could potentially have something like Ethier had.”