The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated Joe Kelly from the bereavement list and optioned Caleb Ferguson to Triple-A Oklahoma City ahead of beginning a seven-game homestand.
Kelly returns after missing the minimum three games required for bereavement leave. His absence could have extended to a maximum of seven games, if necessary. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated over the weekend the expectation was for Kelly to return by the start of the series with the New York Mets.
The right-hander has pitched to a 7.79 ERA, 4.59 FIP and 1.73 WHIP with 17 strikeouts and six walks in 17.1 innings over 17 appearances thus far. Kelly’s first season with the Dodgers has gotten off to a subpar start but he’s been improved of late.
After allowing three runs and retiring just one of five batters faced against the San Diego Padres on May 4, Kelly rebounded to allow just one hit in four innings pitched over his last four appearances.
He collected four strikeouts and held opponents to a .077/.250/.077 batting line but also issued three walks during that stretch.
Ferguson was included on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster an heads to the Minors for the first time this season. Though, that’s if excluding a rehab assignment spent with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Oklahoma City earlier this month.
Ferguson went 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA, 6.29 FIP and 1.69 WHIP in 13 games (one start) prior to landing on the injured list. The start came in a bullpen game for the Dodgers, and it could be deemed a success as Ferguson allowed just one run over 2.2 innings.
He struggled in relief appearances after that, however, leading to the stint on the IL. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believed it was plausible the left-hander attempted to pitch through oblique discomfort, which led to struggles.
“I don’t know if it’s a physical thing, I don’t know if it’s a mechanical thing. I do know there’s an execution component,” Roberts said at the time.
“If you look at the radar gun, it’s been very consistent. But then you kind of layer in execution or mechanics, and that’s where the issues have been for me. He’s got great stuff, good competitor. But when you hit a right-hander with a breaking ball, things like that just don’t add up with what he’s capable of doing.”
Ferguson is 0-1 with a 5.94 ERA, 6.83 FIP and 1.80 WHIP in 17 games this season.