With the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff very much a shadow of what it was on Opening Day, Carlos Frias and Chris Hatcher may be but one to two weeks away from again being able to contribute.
Frias, who injured his back on June 30, and Hatcher, who strained his oblique muscle and was placed on the disabled list on June 15, are both set to begin rehab assignments with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Dodgers starting pitcher Carlos Frias and reliever Chris Hatcher are scheduled to begin injury rehabilitation assignments with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga this weekend. Hatcher, on the disabled list since June 15 with a left oblique strain, will pitch in a game Friday night. Frias, on the disabled list since July 1 with lower back tightness, will start Sunday after throwing a 31-pitch batting practice session.”
The news on Frias could not have come sooner for the Dodgers. With Zack Greinke’s availability over the weekend still in limbo and Brett Anderson’s health in question, the team is facing the prospect of starting three pitchers they likely didn’t expect to over their final three road games.
Ian Thomas is taking the hill Friday, while Greinke hasn’t been ruled out to start Saturday’s game, and Anderson remains a possibility for Sunday. Although Frias has not been consistent in the slightest as a starter, he’s helped eat up innings as a fifth starter for a team that’s been in desperate need of starting pitching.
Some of Frias’ struggles have stemmed from opponents’ .336 BABIP and a 5.17 strikeout per nine innings ratio. As for Hatcher, his first season with the Dodgers has largely been underwhelming. On Opening Day the 30-year-old appeared as the closer and shut down the San Diego Padres after hitting the first batter.
However, in just his next third of an inning, he allowed seven earned runs, which set the tone for his season. He was put on the disabled list holding a 6.38 ERA and 4.06 xFIP as well as a .368 BABIP.