This season has seen quite the rash of injuries to the Dodgers‘ pitching staff. Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda are all currently on the DL, leading to some of the Dodgers’ young arms being pressed into service sooner than they were anticipating. Walker Buehler has already made quite a few starts. Dennis Santana was brought up for his debut last weekend in Colorado. Now it appears that the next arm on his way is that of Caleb Ferguson.
Taken in the 38th round of the 2014 draft, the lefty had Tommy John surgery that same year. He didn’t really start pitching until last season, where he ranked first with a 2.87 ERA, second in opponent average with .246, and third in strikeouts with 140 in High Class-A. He has risen quickly through the ranks of the Dodgers farm system, helped by added velocity to his fastball, which sits in the lower 90’s, topping out about 95 mph. He throws a curveball in the upper 70’s which could become a lethal weapon the more he refines the location of it.
Ferguson debuted in Triple-A Oklahoma City in May 26th, striking out 10 batters and allowing three hits in five innings. He started again last Friday, although he was not quite as sharp. He went three innings, striking out two, but walking four. He allowed two earned runs on three hits, and had an error that lead to another run. That bad outing could quite possible be attributed to the uncertainty of when his next start was going to be, messing up his routine.
“I think you saw the real Caleb the first game,” OKC pitching coach Bill Simas told Jacob Unruh of NewsOK on Friday. “This game we moved him around a little bit and he wasn’t comfortable. You’ll see the real guy again.”
Hopefully for Dodger fans, they will see that Caleb when he gets his first chance at the majors, presumably on Wednesday. Whether they start him, or start a reliever first like they did with Santana remains to be seen. One thing is for sure this season, when it comes to Dodger pitching, the future is now.