Facing a corresponding roster move to activating Rich Hill for his 2019 debut, the Los Angeles Dodgers placed Caleb Ferguson on the 10-day injured list due to a left oblique issue.
The club had not yet made a decision when Roberts addressed media less than two hours before first pitch on Sunday. At the time he indicated the Dodgers medical staff was still evaluating Ferguson to determine if he would only need to sit a day or two or face a longer recovery.
While the preference was that Ferguson would have avoided injury, the left-handed relief pitcher was likely the odd man out anyhow. If not put on the IL, Ferguson was likely headed to Triple-A Oklahoma City so Hill could be reinstated.
Though they will be without Ferguson’s services until at least until Wednesday, May 8, Roberts is encouraged as signs point to the oblique issue being a minor injury, via SportsNet LA:
“I don’t know if they kind of classified it as a strain or soreness. Here in the next couple of days I think he’s going to pick up a baseball. I don’t think it’s like the tear thing. Fortunately, I think we’re best-case scenario. So hopefully here in the next couple of days he’ll pick up baseball and we’ll see where we’re at.”
Ferguson went 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA, 6.29 FIP and 1.69 WHIP in 13 games (one start) prior to being sidelined. The start came in a bullpen game for the Dodgers and one that saw Ferguson allow just one run over 2.2 innings.
He struggled in some appearances after that, however, including his last time pitching. He issued a pair of walks and allowed a single before exiting with the bases loaded and nobody out. Roberts was not certain what impact, if any, the oblique trouble may have had on Ferguson’s recent struggles.
“I don’t know if it’s a physical thing, I don’t know if it’s a mechanical thing. I do know there’s an execution component,” Roberts said.
“If you look at the radar gun, it’s been very consistent. But then you kind of layer in execution or mechanics, and that’s where the issues have been for me. He’s got great stuff, good competitor. But when you hit a right-hander with a breaking ball, things like that just don’t add up with what he’s capable of doing.”