Just a little more than a month before the Dodgers would be crowned world champions in 2020, reliever Caleb Ferguson underwent the knife for the second Tommy John surgery of his life. The left-hander was in the midst of a dominant season in the LA bullpen, posting a 2.89 ERA over 21 appearances.
20 months later, he pitched a clean inning at Dodger Stadium, walking a batter and striking out a batter in a 5-4 win. Admittedly, there were nerves for the 25-year-old.
“First hitter, I had a lot of nerves there. Couldn’t really feel the ball in my hand. Kind of felt like I was making my debut again. I’m really happy to be back.”
For the Dodgers, Ferguson’s return may be a bit sooner than hoped. He’s struggled against Triple-A hitters, allowing 6 earned runs over 4.2 innings pitched (11.57 ERA), but of his 6 appearances thus far, 4 have been clean outings. After the game, manager Dave Roberts said that LA recalled Ferguson “out of need” for a beleaguered bullpen. Still, Doc likes what he saw on Monday.
“That’s the Caleb that we expect to see. Breaking ball for a strike. The fastball that he used to punch Perdomo, that’s as good a fastball as you’re going to see.”
With a day/night doubleheader scheduled for today, and Ferguson not yet pitching on back to back days, chances are high that he’s optioned back to AAA for a fresh arm. Additionally, the Dodgers are expected to recall rookie right-hander Ryan Pepiot to start or add length for game 1 of the twin billing.
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