The Los Angeles Dodgers overcame adversity in their win against the San Diego Padres Thursday night without needing much from the bullpen.
Coming off two games in which the Dodger starting pitcher was unable to go past the sixth inning, Clayton Kershaw once again accepted the challenge of taking a load off the relievers’ shoulders by throwing eight innings of one-run baseball.
Manager Don Mattingly is currently without relievers whom he’s counted on throughout the season. Paul Maholm was lost to season-ending ACL surgery, and Chris Perez and Paco Rodriguez are both on the disabled list with respective injuries.
Perez, who was the first of the two to go down, due to bone spurs in his right ankle, is in the process of completing a rehab assignment. According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, manager Don Mattingly expects the right-hander back in September:
Chris Perez (ankle) game out of his first rehab appearance fine and is scheduled for his next one Friday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Mattingly doesn’t expect him back to early September.
As for Rodriguez, who was sidelined by shoulder inflammation, he recently threw from the mound and Mattingly is hopeful he’ll get an opportunity for a rehab assignment in the Minors:
Paco Rodriguez (shoulder) threw off the mound Wednesday at about 70%, Mattingly said. He hopes Rodriguez can make a rehab appearance before the minor-league season ends Sept. 1.
The lefty has spent much of 2014 in the Minors, due to being one of only two relievers on the team with options remaining on his contract (Kenley Jansen the other).
How the Dodgers will realign their bullpen once Perez and Rodriguez are ready to return will be an interesting development to watch unfold. Although in limited opportunities, Mattingly praised the job Pedro Baez has done.
Either one or both of Baez and Carlos Frias would likely need to be optioned back to the Minors in order to clear room on the active roster if both Perez and Rodriguez are to remain up with the team. However, that decision would also temporarily get put off during September when the rosters expand.
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