UPDATE (Feb. 22, 9:00 a.m. PT): As expected, Joel Peralta resumed throwing by playing catch on Sunday, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Joel Peralta (shoulder) has resumed playing catch.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 22, 2015
With the Los Angeles Dodgers only two days into Spring Training, the bullpen outlook has quickly gone from an optimistic one to growing concern. It began with Kenley Jansen undergoing surgery on his left foot earlier in the week and continued with news Saturday of Joel Peralta not being 100 percent.
Shortly after taking over as president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman traded for Adam Liberatore and Peralta, two pitchers he got familiar with during his time with the Tampa Bay Rays organization. While Peralta reported to Spring Training on time, he’s behind schedule in his throwing program, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
The Dodgers are already without closer Kenley Jansen because of foot surgery, reliever Joel Peralta is behind schedule in his throwing program after experiencing right shoulder discomfort in a bullpen session two weeks ago.
Peralta didn’t throw his scheduled bullpen session, but is expecting to play catch on Sunday. The veteran reliever believes his decision to not participate in winter ball may have contributed to the discomfort:
With a new team, I didn’t want anything to happen to make Andrew look bad,” he said. “He didn’t want me to pitch and maybe that’s why, because I like to pitch to be ready for Spring Training to have all my pitches ready. I have time. I should be OK.”
Peralta appeared in 69 games with the Rays last season and was 3-4 with a 4.41 ERA in his fourth year with the team. He is under contract with the Dodgers for $2.5 million in 2015 and has $2.5 million options in 2016 and 2017.
With Jansen expected to miss 8-12 weeks, Peralta figures to be a key component to the Dodgers succeeding without their closer; particularly when considering Mattingly indicated he’s going to rely on matchups rather than anointing another reliever a temporary closer.
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