It has been an up-and-down season for Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy as he returned from Tommy John surgery in July and shined immediately, going 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his first four starts.
However, McCarthy then began to struggle with his command and walked 17 batters in 12.1 innings pitched over his next four starts. It was eventually revealed he was suffering from right hip stiffness that affected him since fielding a bunt in the second inning on Aug. 2.
McCarthy set a career high with five walks in that start, and matched it in each of his next two outings. The lingering injury forced him to the disabled list for the second time this season.
The right-hander recently completed multiple bullpen sessions and advanced to throwing a simulated game this week. According to Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider, McCarthy was focused getting comfortable on the mound:
“It felt good,” he said. “There were things I wanted to focus on, things I wanted to get out, and it was a step in the right direction. .. Just trying to get comfortable again more than anything else.”
Once it became evident McCarthy was again bound for the DL, he openly admitted to needing time away to sort through his struggles. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts eexpressed confidence the 33-year-old will regain the form he showed upon returning.
Overall, McCarthy is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA, 3.95 FIP and 1.27 WHIP over eight starts. After prolific strikeout numbers, his totals balanced out and he’s at 38 strikeouts to 24 walks. Brett Anderson and McCarthy are said to be behind Scott Kazmir in the recovery process.
Roberts believes Anderson and McCarthy will require a rehab assignment prior to being reinstated from the disabled list, while Kazmir may not.