Dodgers News: Brandon McCarthy Clears First Hurdle In Rehab Start
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

More than one year after pitching in a game, Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy began his rehab assignment Saturday with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. McCarthy, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2015, allowed one run (on a solo homer) in his scheduled two innings of work.

“It almost felt like it was my first game ever,” he said after the outing. “It’s kind of the way it’s been going. Live BP is where you feel really good one day and not as great the next. Some days your stuff is there, some days it’s not. It’s just riding that wave up and down.”

McCarthy threw a total of 20 pitches, 11 for strike, then threw another 15 pitches in the bullpen after exiting. Along with the solo home run allowed, he issued one walk, had four groundouts and two fly ball outs in the Quakes’ victory.

McCarthy needed just eight pitches to get through a scoreless first inning. “I liked that it was quick,” he said. “Tear the band-aid off and get the first one out of the way. I can’t go past 20 pitches, so I didn’t want to have some drawn-out inning that I was pulled from.”

The 32 year old acknowledged his elbow didn’t feel 100 percent healthy quite yet, but there wasn’t any discomfort or a setback. He also is glad to have gotten over the initial hump of pitching in a game.

“Knowing you crossed hurdle one, which is game action, and being able to get out there and feel alright is a great start,” McCarthy said. He compared the feeling of being back on the mound after a long absence was similar to the start of Spring Training.

“You think you’ve forgotten everything, then it sort of clicks and your body remembers what it’s supposed to do,” McCarthy joked.

He wasn’t certain of the specifics for the road ahead, only certain Sunday would be used as a day to evaluate his elbow. “Everything is super flexible at this point,” McCarthy said. “We’re not on any rigid timetable.” He’s expected to make four more rehab starts.