Dodgers’ Brandon McCarthy: ‘I Need Some Time Off’
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon McCarthy had solid showings in his first four starts back from Tommy John surgery, then wobbled a bit against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 27. After throwing just four innings, McCarthy attributed some of the struggles to lingering fatigue from what had been his longest start.

However, McCarthy regressed even further in his next outing, getting chased by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning at Coors Field on Aug. 2. The right-hander set a career-high with five walked batters.

McCarthy then matched that total against the Boston Red Sox, and again Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was removed from the afternoon matchup after throwing just 1.2 innings.

The Dodgers later announced McCarthy exited with right hip stiffness. It was also revealed the nagging issue was something McCarthy pitched with since fielding a bunt in the second inning of his start against the Rockies.

Although the 33-year-old climbed a steep mountain after undergoing Tommy John surgery, he conceded another stint on the disabled list will suit him well in attempting to overcome the hip issue, per Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

“I need some time off,” McCarthy said after the game. “I need to get my body where I need it. Mentally, physically – everything needs to be back in line. There’s a lot of stuff going on just in coming back from surgery. Adding in other layers doesn’t help. So, whatever that takes to get back, however long it takes, I need to go make sure I get it done.”

The Dodgers and McCarthy maintained throughout the week that his struggles were not related to injury. McCarthy worked with Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt during two bullpen sessions to sort through command issues, and was confident heading into Saturday’s start.

Shuffling the deck in their rotation is something the Dodgers have become adept at this season. Assuming McCarthy indeed lands on the DL, Los Angeles presumably will active Bud Norris to fill the latest hole in the rotation.

Norris threw 5.2 innings, allowed one run, and had four strikeouts in a rehab start for High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday night.