While the injury news throughout Spring Training was negative more times than not, the Los Angeles Dodgers seemingly turned a corner recently with multiple players on the mend. Mike Bolsinger was first to begin a rehab assignment, and soon after was followed by Alex Guerrero and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The list has since grown to include Carlos Frias, Frankie Montas and Scott Van Slyke. Brandon McCarthy, recovering from last April’s Tommy John surgery, was also expected to begin a rehab assignment by this time or in the coming days.
Like Ryu, McCarthy threw multiple bullpen sessions and faced live batters at Dodger Stadium earlier this month in preparation of joining a Minor League affiliate.
However, the right-hander’s recovery appears to have hit a snag. According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, McCarthy has temporarily stopped throwing after feeling discomfort:
Brandon McCarthy’s throwing program was temporarily put on hold after the right-hander experienced some discomfort following a session of live batting practice recently.
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi acknowledged the matter is somewhat of a setback, but isn’t overly concerned:
“He’s just off from throwing for a few days,” Zaidi said. “I think it’s fair to categorize it as a minor setback, and we’re just being cautious in giving him a few days off.
“This is a big step – going from throwing to live hitters (in batting practice) to starting a rehab. … He wasn’t quite ready after his last session. I know velocity-wise he’s been up to 88-89 (mph), which is good at this stage.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts praised McCarthy for his command and pitch movement after stepping foot on both sides of the batter’s box during a bullpen session.
Back in January, McCarthy set a goal of making one or two starts prior to the All-Star break. The setback doesn’t necessarily eliminate that possibility, though it’s more in question now than it previously had been.
McCarthy went a 3-0 record with a 5.87 ERA last season before undergoing season-ending surgery.