Scherzer activated; Cleavinger, Uceta recalled from Triple-A
The Dodgers on Saturday placed pitcher Tony Gonsolin on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, the same injury for which he missed the first two months of the season.
Gonsolin had arguably his worst start of the season on Friday, walking five in 1⅔ innings, fortunate to scape allowing only two runs. In 10 games this season, Gonsolin has 26 walks in 35⅔ innings.
“If you’d have asked me after his last start, I would say yes [he’s healthy],” manager Dave Roberts said Friday night. “Then six days later we see this, so I don’t know.”
Gonsolin averaged 93.3 mph on his four-seam fastball on Friday, right in line with his 93.4-mph average this season. But on July 24, when Gonsolin pitched 5⅓ scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, he averaged 94.5 mph, his second-fastest of the season but still down from his 95.1-mph average in 2020.
When asked if his shoulder was healthy after Friday’s game, Gonsolin said, “It has its days where it doesn’t feel great, but for the most part it feels good on game day.”
“Everyone around him — training staff, strength and conditioning — everyone’s doing the best they can to keep him feeling strong,” Roberts said Saturday. “He’s not in a situation where he’s going to harm himself. It’s just more of a comfort, strength sort of thing.”
Gonsolin to the injured list is the mechanism used to recall left-hander Garrett Cleavinger from Triple-A Oklahoma City inside of 10 days since he was optioned. Cleavinger was sent down on July 23. This is his fourth stint in the majors this season.
Cleavinger is up because Saturday is a bullpen game for the Dodgers, filling in the spot in the rotation vacated by Josiah Gray getting traded to the Nationals. Friday was also a bullpen game, albeit unplanned, with the Dodgers using eight relievers in a 10-inning loss to the Diamondbacks.
Cleavinger pitched one inning on Thursday in Oklahoma City, his only appearance in the last four days.
Edwin Uceta was also recalled from Triple-A. He last pitched on Tuesday for Oklahoma City, throwing 54 pitches in two innings. This is Uceta’s sixth stint in the majors this season. The 23-year-old has a 8.10 ERA and 5.32 FIP in 11 games with the Dodgers, with 18 strikeouts and 11 walks in 16⅔ innings.
Of the 10 active relief pitchers on the roster, three — Victor Gonzalez, Phil Bickford, and Alex Vesia — pitched in each of the last two days. Brusdar Graterol, who also pitched the last two days, was optioned to Triple-A.
“We have an off day Monday, but to get there we’ve obviously got to play two ballgames,” Roberts said Friday. “We’re going to have to piece it together.”
Mitch White, the only relief pitcher who didn’t pitch on Friday, starts the bullpen game on Saturday, three days after he threw 34 pitches in two innings in San Francisco.
The Dodgers also activated Max Scherzer, who joined the team in Arizona. He’s expected to start Wednesday. Scherzer is wearing uniform number 31 with the Dodgers, the same number he wore in Washington.
Outfielder Luke Raley was optioned to Oklahoma City as well, giving the Dodgers 12 position players and 14 pitchers on the active roster.
Raley started three games in left field for the Dodgers in the last week, with one hit in nine at-bats. It was the fifth separate stint in the majors for Raley, who is hitting .169/.246/.237 in 65 plate appearances over 30 games with the Dodgers, including seven starts in left field and six starts in right field.
In Triple-A this season, Raley is hitting .293/.400/.548 with nine home runs and 20 extra-base hits in 42 games. But to give you an idea of the environment — in a Triple-A West leage averaging 5.91 runs per game — Raley’s .948 OPS ranks sixth among Oklahoma City players with at least 100 plate appearances, behind Rangel Ravelo, Keibert Ruiz, Zach Reks, Steven Souza Jr., and Matt Davidson.
Raley made his major league debut on April 9 in the Dodgers home opener, playing the final two innings in right field against the Nationals, going 0-for-1. He got his first major league hit five days later against the Rockies with an eighth-inning double against Daniel Bard.
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