UPDATE (May 7, 9:00 a.m. PT): Mike Bolsinger begins his rehab assignment on Saturday with Triple-A Oklahoma City in Colorado Springs. Sam LeCure was originally slated to start for the OKC Dodgers.
Of the 10 Los Angeles Dodgers who began the 2016 season on the disabled list, six were pitchers. Most notable were starters Brett Anderson, Mike Bolsinger, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Of the foursome, only McCarthy was a lock to be in that position when Spring Training began.
The Dodgers’ pitching depth quickly eroded as the spring wore on, as Anderson required back surgery for a bulging disk, Bolsinger sustained an oblique injury and Ryu’s recovery from last May’s shoulder surgery was stop-and-go.
The timing of Bolsinger’s injury was particularly frustrating, given he felt the injury while warming up for a start on the day he essentially was selected as the club’s fifth starting pitcher.
Bolsinger, McCarthy and Ryu have all made strides in their recoveries over recent weeks, throwing multiple bullpen sessions without issue.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the trio of starters are on the verge of beginning rehab assignments:
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Friday that Ryu (recovering from shoulder surgery a year ago), right-hander Brandon McCarthy (Tommy John surgery last April) and right-hander Mike Bolsinger (an oblique injury suffered this spring) could each begin minor league injury-rehabilitation assignments in the next two weeks.
Roberts added the Dodgers may use a significant chunk of the 30-day maximum for rehab assignments one each starter:
“It’s No.1 with their health and then necessity, where we’re at,” Roberts said of how long those rehab assignments might go. “And there has to be some build up. The full 30 days? Maybe not. But it’s going to be three or four full turns.”
Bolsinger is the furthest along in his recovery of the three rehabbing pitchers. Though, Ryu faced Minor League batters on Friday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. McCarthy is on record with his desire to make one or two starts prior to the 2016 All-Star Game, which is July 19.
Assuming all continues to go well, the current schedule calls for Bolsinger, McCarthy and Ryu to all return at some point in June. Ryu was transferred to the 60-day DL on Saturday in a corresponding move to the Dodgers claiming reliever Casey Fien off waivers; the earliest Ryu can be activated is May 24.