Dodgers News: Joel Peralta’s Neck Injury Affected Command Of Pitches

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Joel Peralta from the Tampa Bay Rays they lost a young right-hander in Jose Dominiguez, but figured to gain one with experience.

Peralta suffered a neck injury which radiated down into his arm in May of this season, which threatened his future in baseball. It was serious enough for him to miss all of May and most of June. Peralta is again suffering from a similar issue and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

Peralta attempted to work through the neck pain, but was forced to the DL as it began to affect his mechanics. “It’s what happened before,” he said. “Not being able to command the fastball, the split-finger, that’s one of the reasons why I’m going to take a couple weeks off.”

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he first heard of the issue during the team’s road trip through Philadelphia. “When he starts talking about not being able to finish a pitch that’s when you get in trouble,” Mattingly said of the decision to place the right-hander on the DL. Peralta appeared in two games against the Phillies and allowed a grand slam in one of the outings.

Given the previous time Peralta battled a neck issue it almost led to career-ending surgery, he admitted to being concerned now that it’s crept up again. However, if there’s one silver lining, it’s that Peralta hasn’t felt the same pain in his arm/triceps area as he previously did.

As for the Dodgers moving forward, Peralta expressed confidence in the bullpen. “We’ve got a great group of guys,” he said. “Our bullpen is a big part of this team and I know we’re going to do well.” On the season, the 39-year-old has allowed an average of 10.8 hits per nine innings and posted a 5.20 xFIP, the highest of his career.


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