The Los Angeles Dodgers are still looking to clinch the top seed in the National League and home-field advantage through the World Series, but arguably of greater importance is getting the likes of Yency Almonte, Tony Gonsolin and Blake Treinen back from the 15-day injured list.
Almonte is ahead of Gonsolin and Treinen, and began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City by retiring the side in order in the sixth inning. Almonte induced two pop outs and collected a strikeout in the appearance.
“Came into an inning, he only threw seven pitches, but the stuff was really good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Next for Almonte is pitching with OKC on Sunday, and that could pave the way to returning to the Dodgers bullpen. “The hope is that we activate him on Wednesday in San Diego,” Roberts said.
Almonte was placed on the IL with right elbow tightness at the beginning of August. At the time, the expectation was he wouldn’t be out for an extended period. Almonte continued with a throwing program after an encouraging MRI, but his recovery took longer than the team originally anticipated.
Prior to the injury, Almonte had begun to establish himself as a high-leverage option out of the bullpen. He’s appeared in 29 games and pitched to a 1.15 ERA, 3.26 FIP and 0.89 WHIP, while striking out 8.62 batters per nine innings.
Maintaining that level of success will be paramount for the Dodgers as the state of their pitching staff has been thrown into flux amid ongoing injuries.
Yency Almonte’s career
Almonte was selected by the L.A. Angels in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB Draft and traded to the Chicago White Sox in February 2015. The White Sox then traded Almonte to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Tommy Kahnle, and the two are now Dodgers teammates.
Almonte made his MLB debut with the Rockies in 2018 but only appeared in 14 games. He struggled the season year before bouncing back in 2020 by going 3-0 with one save and a 2.93 ERA over 24 games.
That was followed by more trouble last year, as the right-hander went 1-3 with a 7.55 ERA in 48 games.
The Dodgers signed Almonte to a Minor League contract during Spring Training. He allowed five hits and had seven strikeouts over seven scoreless innings across six appearances in exhibition play.
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