Heading into Spring Training, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff figured to be an area of strength for the club due to improved depth throughout the starting rotation.
However, that depth was quickly decimated after injuries plagued the likes of Brett Anderson and Mike Bolsinger, among others, while Hyun-Jin Ryu suffered multiple setbacks in his recovery from last May’s shoulder surgery.
The abundance of injuries prompted first-year Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to name Ross Striping the team’s fifth starter, beating out Carlos Frias. Stripling has performed better than anticipated thus far, going 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in seven starts.
How much longer Stripling will remain the rotation is a question mark, given his innings limit, and Brandon McCarthy and Ryu making significant strides in returning. Ryu began a rehab assignment on Sunday with High-A Ranch Cucamonga, and is scheduled to start again Friday.
Meawhile, McCarthy, recovering from last April’s Tommy John surgery, is expected to begin his rehab assignment in the near future, according to Jack Baer of MLB.com:
McCarthy threw off the mound at Dodger Stadium on Saturday in a simulated inning with Charlie Culberson in the batter’s box. The right-hander threw his full pitch mix and is expected to throw a simulated game before starting his rehab assignment.
McCarthy previously set a goal of making one or two starts prior to the All-Star break. His schedule puts him on track to accomplish that, with a return potentially coming at some point in June.
McCarthy went a 3-0 record with a 5.87 ERA last season before undergoing surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Along with McCarthy and Ryu working their way back, Bolsinger has already made two starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City.