With their starting rotation at full health, the Los Angeles Dodgers may soon have their bullpen achieve the same status. In addition to relief pitchers on the active roster avoiding injury, it hinges on Tony Cingrani and Caleb Ferguson completing respective rehab assignments.
Cingrani began his over the weekend with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and has since joined Triple-A Oklahoma City. Cingrani has made a combined three appearances and thrown three innings thus far.
“He came out of it well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Cingrani’s debut with Oklahoma City. “From what I understand he’s ready to be here [Thursday], but that’s not going to happen.
“We’re going to build him and let him go the one-plus (innings), the back-to-back, things we haven’t done. He’s in a good place. I think there’s still an execution component he needs to tighten up, which comes with more outings. The velocity will tick up once the adrenaline kicks in.”
At the time of his remarks, Roberts said the Dodgers had not yet determined which affiliate Ferguson would report to for his rehab assignment. Ferguson threw a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday as the next step in his recovery from an oblique strain.
As the club determines the particulars, it’s already been decided Ferguson will require a similar build up to Cingrani. “I think that ideally he would potentially go one-plus,” Roberts said.
“Sometimes circumstances might change that, so when he does go out and pitch his one inning, we’ll know more at that time and kind of see how he feels. Where we’re at with the roster kind of plays into all that as well.”
Roberts added the Dodgers “absolutely” will not stretch Ferguson out as a starter during his rehab.
The more pressing issue may come to be adding either of the left-handed relievers to the active roster. Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, Dylan Floro, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias have Minor League options remaining.
Barring injury, Alexander, Baez and Floro are unlikely to be removed from the equation. “We have a lot of good players,” Roberts said. “Things kind of always open up when a situation arises.”
Cingrani and Ferguson can remain on a rehab assignment up to a maximum of 30 days permitted for a pitcher.