Dodgers News: Caleb Ferguson Had ‘A Lot’ Of Emotions In 2022 Debut

The Los Angeles Dodgers rallied late for a second consecutive day to earn a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a four-game series. Prior to first pitch, the Dodgers activated Caleb Ferguson off the 10-day injured list and optioned Michael Grove to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The left-hander proceeded to throw a scoreless inning out of the bullpen in what marked his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020. “A lot. You could see that first hitter, I had a lot of nerves there,” Ferguson answered when asked if he fought through emotions in his return to a Major League mound.

“Couldn’t really feel the ball in my hand. It almost felt like I was making my debut again. But really happy to be back. A lot of hard work that went into it. Just got to keep chipping away and keep getting better.”

Ferguson noted he was able to calm down after facing the first batter. “After the first guy I settled down,” he began. “Just took a deep breath. I’ve done that my whole life, so just remembered to pitch and throw it over the plate.”

Before rejoining the Dodgers, Ferguson appeared in six games (two starts) while on a rehab assignment with Oklahoma City, going 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA and 2.79 WHIP over 4.2 innings pitched. His time with OKC came to a close with back-to-back scoreless appearances.

“I would say three or four outings ago I finally kind of got the feeling that I wanted with the ball coming out of my hand and how I felt coming toward the mound,” Ferguson said. “So just tried to piggyback off that and keep it going.”

Tony Gonsolin, who provided some much-needed length by completing six innings on the eve of a rare doubleheader at Dodger Stadium, was impressed with Gonsolin’s arsenal of pitches.

“It’s great,” Gonsolin said after the game. “Really good heater, I thought his slider or curveball, whatever it is, looked really good as well. I feel like he settled down once he got into the stretch, but overall he looked good.”

Roberts thought Ferguson looked like old self

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also thought Ferguson looked like his old self against the Diamondbacks. “Once he got through that first hitter, that’s the Caleb we expect to see,” Roberts said.

“A breaking ball that he can strike, a fastball when he punched Perdomo, that’s as good of fastball as you’re going to see.”

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