While the Los Angeles Dodgers pride themselves on organizational depth, their collection of starting pitchers has been pushed to the limit. Injuries decimated the starting rotation and forced the club to turn to the Minor League ranks for reinforcements.
The beneficiaries were Dennis Santana and Caleb Ferguson. The former was projected to join the Dodgers in the near future, with the only surprise being how early it came. Ferguson’s call up was much more unexpected.
He began the season with Double-A Tulsa and only made two starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City before the Dodgers selected his contract. Ferguson himself only expected to be with the Drillers at the time he made his MLB debut.
The left-hander was due to start Saturday against the New York Mets but was replaced by Clayton Kershaw, and instead appeared out of the bullpen.
Ferguson worked out of multiple jams and recorded six strikeouts over four shutout innings to earn his first career win. Ferguson’s performance left Dodgers manager Dave Roberts impressed and encouraged by his trajectory, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“It’s a good trend that each time he’s been out there, the stuff keeps getting better and he’s handling himself considerably better,” said Roberts. “There was some stress out there and he made pitches and trusted the fastball. His ability with the breaking ball was as good as we’ve seen it. He was attacking.”
Ferguson has improved each time out since only recording five outs in his MLB debut. His six strikeouts matched a career high that was set in five innings of work against the San Francisco Giants.
While Ferguson has steadily improved, his time with the Dodgers figures to be coming to an end. Although the 21-year-old remained on the active roster when Kershaw was reinstated from the disabled list, Ferguson presumably will return to Oklahoma City.
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