Whereas Grant Dayton emerged as a surprise contributor for the Los Angeles Dodgers, his 2017 campaign has been derailed by injuries. The left-handed reliever has been on the 10-day disabled list since July 28 due to neck stiffness.
It came a mere eight days after Dayton returned from the DL, as the same injury previously sidelined him for two weeks. Dayton also missed time this season with a left intercostal strain. What’s more, ineffectiveness led to a stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City in May.
On Friday, the 29-year-old took a step forward in his recovery from neck stiffness by pitching in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium. According to Joshua Thornton of MLB.com, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was pleased with the results:
“He’s just kind of working through some physical things and some mechanical things,” Roberts said. “To get him on the mound, to get some readings from things that we have at our disposal. The direction was good, arm strength was good, fastball, breaking ball, all good. I think Grant was encouraged.”
Prior to landing on the disabled list in April with the intercostal strain, Dayton threw 6.1 scoreless innings with just two hits allowed, three walks and four strikeouts across 6.1 innings. He threw a perfect inning and earned the win in his first game off the DL.
However, Dayton then allowed a combined five runs on five hits, including a home run, in 1.2 innings across his next two appearances. Since May 5, he’s allowed eight runs on 12 hits (four home runs) in 14.2 innings over 19 games.
Dayton has 14 strikeouts against seven walks during that span. On the year he’s 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA, 5.72 FIP and 1.31 WHIP in 29 games.
While Dayton has produced 22 scoreless appearances, his strikeout rate is down from last season’s 38.6 percent to 19.6 percent, while walks have increased from 5.9 percent in 2016 to 11.8 percent this season.