The Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon recalled left-handed reliever Adam Liberatore from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed left-hander Rich Hill on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 15. The team is describing the injury as finger inflammation; however, Hill himself says the cause is a cracked nail on his middle finger.
The 30-year-old Liberatore has appeared in five games with the OKC Dodgers this season, going 1-0 and not allowing an earned run over 6-1/3 innings of relief. He has struck out nine batters against two walks, while holding the opposition to a .240 average. The southpaw appeared in seven Cactus League games with Los Angeles this spring, allowing six earned runs over 6-2/3 innings, while striking out seven against four walks. In his injury-riddled 2017 campaign, Liberatore appeared in just four games with the Dodgers, allowing just one run in 3-1/3 innings.
Hill last pitched on Saturday against the Diamondbacks, where he allowed seven runs on seven hits over five innings as he recorded his first loss of the season. In three starts this year, the southpaw has gone 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA and has struck out 16 batters against seven walks.
Hill calls the injury “precautionary,” and said that he expects to miss just one start.
(Dai Sugiura furnished some information provided in this report)
We’re halfway through the third week of spring training and, so far, the Los Angeles Dodgers news from Camelback Ranch has been fairly tame. Norovirus swept through the clubhouse this past week, sending over two dozen Dodgers back to their bunks (and, presumably, their bathrooms) for a couple days before running its course.
(Editor’s note: TBPC would like to welcome Ben Kirst to the site’s writing team. Despite spending most of his life in Western New York, Ben is a lifelong fan of the Dodgers, and his writing experience has included coverage of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, Canisius College hockey, University at Buffalo basketball and various D-3/high school sports. He managed, edited and wrote for Buffalo.com for seven years. He also contributed to USCHO.com for three years and The Dunkirk (N.Y.) Observer for another four. Hopefully, Ben will tolerate all of our antics here at TBPC and continue to contribute many insightful articles in the future. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter @BK77.)
At the beginning of 2017 spring training, the bullpen of the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared as if it was in outstanding shape, especially in terms of having several quality lefty arms at its disposal. However, as the season began to take shape, so did the landscape of the relief corps. Grant Dayton was never quite the same as he was in 2016, and eventually fell victim to a ligament tear, which would ultimately end his season. Adam Liberatore, who was one of several workhorses in the relief crew last year, was hampered by injuries for most of the current campaign. And Luis Avilan, well, is Luis Avilan.
While the Dodgers have been extremely quiet so far during the weeks leading up to the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline, the silence doesn’t necessarily mean the front office isn’t working hard to negotiate a trade or two in order to upgrade an already stacked 25-man roster. If there is one departmental weakness on the club, it could be the vulnerability of the bullpen, despite the NL-leading 2.90 ERA. Furthermore, it’s apparent that the team could benefit from the acquisition of an elite lefty specialist, and nobody fits the bill better than Zach Britton of the Orioles. And we’re here to tell you five reasons why.
As it’s been nearly 10 days since we’ve put together our last injury report, there hasn’t been any changes to the disabled list of the Dodgers, outside of several cases of improvement to a few players who could contribute to the club down the stretch run of the season.
In Saturday’s column, we took a look around the farm system of the Dodgers and outlined a handful of potential pitchers the club could conceivably utilize for the stretch run of the regular season. But while there’s a good chance the Dodgers do indeed call on one of the youngsters we mentioned, it still doesn’t solve the team’s problem of not having a reliable lefty relief specialist.
It’s really not that difficult to inadvertently overlook the injuries of the Dodgers considering the club’s most recent string of success; however, looking ahead, the overall health of the squad could become a critical factor during the stretch run of the regular season and into the playoffs.
With the official halfway point of the 2017 season now only a few weeks away, the injury report of the Dodgers is beginning to show a few signs of improvement, although a handful of the lingering ailments are of the more severe nature and are considered long term.