The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has been an inconsistent bunch this season, mostly due to injuries and shuffling of roles.
The injuries slowed and it appeared the Dodgers were going to get four of their primary relievers back from injury. Two of those relievers, Pedro Baez and Joel Peralta, have already returned and appeared in a game for the NL West leaders, while the other two, Brandon League and Paco Rodriguez, were expected to pitch in some more minor-league rehab games and return to the team. League is scheduled to pitch for the OKC Dodgers two times in the coming days, and Rodriguez was going to meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache before rejoining the team in Arizona.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Rodriguez’s plan to return has hit a major snag:
Paco Rodriguez will undergo surgery to remove loose bodies in the back of his elbow. Will be out 8-10 weeks.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) June 27, 2015
Rodriguez was evaluated when he first went on the disabled list, and was going to try and pitch the rest of the year with bone spurs in his elbow in order to avoid surgery. That won’t be happening and the Dodgers will be without their left-hander til late August the earliest. The 24-year-old pitched in 18 games (10.1 innings) and had a 2.61 ERA with eight strikeouts.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, left-hander Adam Liberatore has done quite well since being promoted and gives the team a second left-hander with J.P. Howell. Left-handers Daniel Coulombe and Ian Thomas are also on the 40-man roster and have pitched for the Major League team this season.
The loss is a tough blow for the young reliever, but could put him in position to return to the team for a possible stretch run in September.