With only 45 games remaining in the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in position to reach the postseason a fourth consecutive year. However, the 2016 season has been unlike any other for the Dodgers.
They’ve been forced to battle through several obstacles, namely injuries to that have ravaged their starting rotation. For Brandon McCarthy, that’s meant being derailed on his road back from Tommy John surgery.
After returning in July, the 33-year-old showed shades of his previous self, which came at a needed time for the Dodgers. However, McCarthy began a downward trend Aug. 2 and on Sunday was put back on the disabled list.
He pitched just 1.2 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates before exiting with right hip stiffness. The issue is one that’s lingered since McCarthy fielded a bunt at Coors Field on Aug. 2.
“Where he’s at physically, he needs time to get right,” Dodgers manager Roberts said Sunday. “After that start, two weeks, get him back in September after he’s worked through some things mechanically, I think he’ll be better for it.”
McCarthy also acknowledged he needs time away to work through the hip stiffness that rears its head in game environments. The right-hander threw multiple bullpen sessions leading up to Saturday’s start, and was confident he’d sorted out command troubles that were a byproduct of the bothersome hip.
In his first four starts, McCarthy pitched at least five innings in each of the outings and collected two victories. He allowed just five runs (four earned) on nine hits over that span and had 26 strikeouts.
McCarthy’s four starts after that have been an unmitigated disaster. He’s unraveled to the tune of 11 hits, 17 walks, and 11 runs (10 earned) in just 12.1 innings pitched. “I think once he gets physically right, it will all fall into place,” Roberts said.
“Brandon is a veteran player, and obviously he’s gone through some trials with health. I’d say really minimal concern (over McCarthy’s struggles).”
On the season McCarthy is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA, 3.95 FIP and 1.70 WHIP.