Due to injury, the Los Angeles Dodgers opened this season without closer Kenley Jansen and Brandon League, who quietly emerged as a dependable option out of the bullpen in the latter stages of the 2014 season.
While not having Jansen has forced manager Don Mattingly to shuffle the deck as it pertains to ninth-inning situations, the Dodgers have managed to slide along thanks in part to Joel Peralta’s team-leading three saves and by winning games without them being save situations.
Whereas the bullpen was lights out on the homestand, they struggled a bit in the three-game series against the San Francisco Giants. As they’ve continued to do so over the last 10 days, the Dodgers made yet another roster move Friday, calling up Sergio Santos from Triple-A.
Recently acquired and fellow relief pitcher Xavier Cedeno was designated for assignment in order to make room for Santos on the 40-man roster. The news came as somewhat of a surprise as it previously was reported Cedeno was expected to join the club in San Diego.
According to ESPN’s Mark Saxon, the change is due to an unnamed right-handed reliever dealing with some form of injury that may sideline him throughout the weekend:
The Los Angeles Dodgers fully intended to add newly acquired left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno to their 25-man roster, according to a source, but had to make a U-turn in their plans when they got to San Diego and discovered that one of their right-handed relievers is feeling some soreness and might not be able to pitch in this series.
Peralta is the only relief pitcher who publicly has acknowledged some form of injury — he battled a sore neck/upper back spasms April 15. Of the three games in San Francisco, Peralta only appeared in Thursday’s contest.
The 39-year-old issued two walks to load the bases in 0.1 of an inning and had a noticeable drop in his velocity — maxing out around the mid-80s. The Giants came away empty in the inning only because of Howie Kendrick’s superb diving catch.
While the Dodgers have been fortunate to still retain pitchers they’ve recently DFA’d, their luck may run out on Cedeno given the premium on left-handed relief pitching.
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