The Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching depth has already been put to the test in the first month-plus of the season with starters Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu and relievers Tony Cingrani and Caleb Ferguson all spending time on the injured list.
Ferguson has been out for the last week and a half due to a strained left oblique. Luckily, the 22-year-old was able to avoid a serious injury and managed to begin throwing just a couple days after going down.
He then progressed to throwing a bullpen session and participating in a simulated game, both of which did not lead to any setbacks. Despite not being out all that long, the Dodgers still planned to send Ferguson out on a rehab assignment before activating him from the 10-day IL.
It appears he is ready to do that, as Ferguson revealed he is joining High-A Rancho Cucamonga this weekend, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Left-hander Caleb Ferguson said he will begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday.
Ferguson’s role in the bullpen is as a long reliever, so he is often called upon to throw multiple innings at a time in relief. Because of that, the plan is to build him up to multiple innings in his rehab assignment before he returns to the big leagues.
In 13 games for the Dodgers before going down with the injury, Ferguson pitched to a 3.46 ERA, 6.29 FIP and 1.69 WHIP with 14 strikeouts and eight walks in 13 innings.
Command has been an issue for him, so it is possible that Ferguson spends an extended period of time in the Minor Leagues to regain that as opposed to just one or two outings like most other injured relievers typically would require.
Furthermore, the longer Ferguson’s rehab assignment is, the more time it gives the Dodgers to mull over a forthcoming roster crunch.