The Los Angeles Dodgers officially added Adam Kolarek to their 25-man active roster and optioned Caleb Ferguson to Triple-A Oklahoma City. A corresponding move on the 40-man roster was not required, as a spot cleared when Brock Stewart was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Kolarek was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays just before the 1 p.m. PT deadline on Wednesday. The Dodgers sent Minor League outfielder Niko Hulsizer to the Rays in exchange for the lefty specialist.
It was the second trade of the day between the two teams, with the Dodgers additionally sending Rocky Gale to the Rays in exchange for cash considerations. L.A. and Tampa Bay previously aligned on trades this season involving Travis d’Arnaud and Casey Sadler, both of which were completed in May.
Although the Dodgers were linked to big-name relief pitchers such as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Felipe Vazquez, New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz and San Francisco Giants closer Will Smith, the acquisition of Kolarek filled a glaring need.
Tony Cingrani — who was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on deadline day — hadn’t thrown a pitch before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Scott Alexander has endured his own struggles and now is dealing with nerve trouble, and Ferguson hasn’t been able to maintain any sort of consistency.
As a result, the Dodgers have gone multiple stretches with Julio Urias, a multi-inning option, serving as their only left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Kolarek has held same-side hitters to a .187/.238/.293 batting line in 80 plate appearances this season. Overall in 2019, Kolarek has pitched to a 3.95 ERA and 1.27 WHIP this season. The 30-year-old has been improved of late, however, yielding a 2.40 ERA in his last 15 innings pitched.
Ferguson returns to Oklahoma City after a two-week run in the Majors. He pitched in five games for the Dodgers after being recalled July 18, yielding a 9.00 ERA. After allowing two earned runs in consecutive appearances, Ferguson bounced back with more encouraging results.
The last of which got the Dodgers out of a bases-loaded jam, which Dodgers manager Dave Roberts commended the southpaw for. He added Ferguson had worked with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to refine his mechanics.
Overall this season, Ferguson is 0-1 with a 5.88 ERA, 6.30 FIP and 1.81 WHIP in 27 games (one start) with the Dodgers. The 23-year-old has fared remarkably much better pitching for Oklahoma City, where he’s yet to allow a run in 13.1 innings over 11 appearances.