Caleb Ferguson became one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ most effective relief pitchers in 2020 but he was forced to undergo Tommy John Surgery in the season’s final month.
Ferguson held out hope he would be able to return sometime in 2021, but that scenario never presented itself as he continued his rehab.
The ongoing MLB lockout has given him even more time to recover as Spring Training has already been delayed and it seems more likely every day that the regular season will be pushed back as well.
With additional time to recover, the southpaw said he will be ready whenever a new collective bargaining agreement is finalized and the season resumes, via “Dodger Talk” with David Vassegh:
“We’ll be ready to go. I’m feeling good, got a bunch of bullpens under my belt. Going to start facing some live hitters here soon and we’ll see where it goes.”
Although he was limited to 18.2 innings in 2020, Ferguson pitched to a 2.89 ERA and 3.57 FIP while striking out 13.02 hitters per nine and walking just 1.45 per nine.
There should be some rust expected for the 25-year-old when he returns, but most projection systems still see him as a mid-three ERA pitcher in around 50 innings this season.
If Ferguson is able to return to form, the Dodgers bullpen should be very strong from the left side for the first time in a while with him and Alex Vesia.
Ferguson navigating ‘a lot more steps’ because of MLB lockout
Because of the MLB lockout, injured and rehabbing players are not permitted to have any contact with team personnel or use their facilities. For Ferguson, it’s amounted to continuing his recovery from home in Ohio.
One factor working in his favor is Ferguson previously underwent Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school in 2014, which made him better equipped to navigate the recovery process a second time around.
However, Ferguson has still faced challenges and has needed to find a workaround to get advice from the Dodgers’ medical staff.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!