After a breakout season in 2013, Chris Withrow figured to have earned an expanded role with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. However, heading into the 2014 season, the Dodgers added Chris Perez and Jamey Wright, which clogged up the bullpen and left Withrow’s status in jeopardy.
Nonetheless, the young right-hander was with the team at the outset of the season and Brian Wilson’s early stint on the disabled list created a window of opportunity for Withrow. He remained with the team into May and was then optioned to the Minors when Hyun-Jin Ryu was reinstated from the DL.
Withrow however never made it to Triple-A as it was discovered he had a torn UCL in his right elbow that required season-ending Tommy John surgery. Still recovering, Withrow recently underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Dodgers reliever Chris Withrow, still recovering from June Tommy John surgery, had surgery last week to repair a herniated disk in his lower back.
In 20 games with the Dodgers last season, Withrow had 28 strikeouts with a 2.95 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over 21.1 innings pitched. The back surgery isn’t expected to delay Withrow’s recovery from Tommy John surgery with a target return of mid-season 2015 remaining the likely scenario.
While a return to pitching next season is possible, it’s unlikely he’ll manage to have much of an impact with the Dodgers. He conceivably would need time in the Minors to shake off any rust and that would leave him with a September callup as the best chances of reaching the Majors in 2015.