After spending the offseason retooling their starting rotation and overall pitching staff, the Los Angeles Dodgers entered Spring Training championing their depth. However, starters have dropped like flies prior to, and since, pitchers and catchers reported in February.
Frankie Montas underwent rib resection surgery, Hyun-Jin Ryu’s throwing program stalled, Brett Anderson needed back surgery for a bulging disk, Brandon Beachy is having elbow trouble and Mike Bolsinger was scratched from a start due to tightness in his left side.
Bolsinger’s issue has since been more accurately diagnosed as a mild oblique strain. The right-hander expressed confidence he’d make a quick recovery, despite a traditional timetable suggesting otherwise.
Bolsinger had effectively been selected by the Dodgers as their fifth starter, given Beachy’s aforementioned elbow issue and Zach Lee getting optioned to Minor League camp.
While he may ultimately regain control of the spot that slipped through his hands, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman doesn’t expect Bolsinger to be part of the rotation come Opening Day, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
#Dodgers Andrew Friedman said he "cannot imagine" Mike Bolsinger recovering from oblique injury in time to open season as 5th starter
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 22, 2016
Bolsinger was 6-6 with a 3.62 ERA, 3.91 FIP and 1.36 WHIP in 21 starts with the Dodgers last season. He allowed a combined two runs on five hits and issued three walks while striking out six batters in nine innings pitched over three games (one start) this spring.
With Bolsinger temporarily out of the picture, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Carlos Frias and Lee have entered the discussion as the search for a fifth starter picks back up.