The Los Angeles Dodgers are off Thursday but still made roster moves as they reinstated AJ Pollock and Jimmy Nelson from the 10-day injured list, and optioned Edwin Uceta and Alex Vesia to Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to departing for their seven-game road trip.
It temporarily leaves the Dodgers with 24 players on their active rosters, with the open spots due to be taken by AJ Pollock and Jimmy Nelson when they both are reinstated from the 10-day injured list heading into a weekend series against the Atlanta Braves.
Uceta and Vesia both appeared in Wednesday’s 14-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, combining to throw three scoreless innings. Uceta handled the seventh and eighth, retiring six of seven batters faced.
The right-hander would have turned in two perfect innings if not for Will Smith’s throwing error from third base. “Edwin threw the ball well,” Walker Buehler said of Uceta.
“It’s interesting, we didn’t know a whole lot about him when he got up here. A really good changeup, I think he knows what he’s doing. He’s fun to watch.”
Uceta has appeared in seven games over two separate stints for the Dodgers, including making a start in his MLB debut last month. The 23-year-old has pitched to a 3.55 ERA AND 1.18 WHIP thus far.
Vesia struck out the side against the Cardinals in what was one of his more encouraging performances. The left-hander has managed to avoid giving up hits but struggled with command and issued 11 walks in 10.2 innings over 10 appearances.
Pollock had been out since May 15 due to a left hamstring strain that was aggravated in his first game back. The Dodgers originally attempted to nurse the veteran outfielder back to health without an IL stint, but were determined to be more cautious the second time around.
After a slow start, Pollock is batting .277/.333/.457 with five doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI in 32 games. He went 2-for-9 with one home run while with the Quakes.
Nelson was sidelined one fewer week than Pollock and returns without going on a rehab assignment. The Dodgers instead had the right-hander build up to throwing live batting practice this week as the last step.
“He was good. I thought the stuff was good. The fastball had life, both breaking balls were sharp,” Roberts said. “There wasn’t the command that he would probably like, but right now it’s just kind of how he feels.”
Nelson is 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA, 1.86 FIP, 1.18 WHIP and 14.5 strikeouts per nine over 18.2 innings pitched across 16 games (one start). He strung together seven consecutive scoreless appearances before landing on the IL.
Dodgers back to full bench
By deciding to option two pitchers and only adding one to their active roster, the Dodgers are back to carrying a full bench and even split of position players and pitchers.
Injuries to position players and being short a fifth starter that required the Dodgers to regularly rely on a bullpen game amounted to having extra pitchers.
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