Dodgers Roster: Scott Alexander Activated, Garrett Cleavinger Optioned
Scott Alexander
Keith Birmingham/Southern California News Group

The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated Scott Alexander from the 60-day injured list and optioned Garrett Cleavinger to Triple-A Oklahoma City ahead of Monday’s series opener against the Miami Marlins.

Alexander returns after being placed on the 10-day IL May 3 due to left shoulder inflammation. He was transferred to the 60-day IL when the club activated Tony Gonsolin last month. The paper move made last Friday the earliest Alexander could be reinstated.

The Dodgers initially were hopeful he would only miss a brief stretch with the left shoulder trouble but the inflammation took longer than expected to dissipate. That in turn reset Alexander and led to the prolonged absence.

“In my case, it took about 10 days to finally start feeling better,” he recently explained. “There’s like a threshold of when you’re not throwing — as far as taking days off — there’s a little bit of a threshold to where you get to a certain where the layoff has been too long and you’re forced to do this throwing program to build back up.

“The injury, 10 or 14 days, I was feeling good. But because of that non-throwing, I had to go through essentially a Spring Training buildup, and that’s basically what’s taken so long.”

Alexander appeared in one game for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, then pitched in five games with Oklahoma City to complete his rehab assignment. The final hurdle to clear was pitching in back-to-back games, which Alexander successfully did from July 1-2.

Cleavinger served as an opener on Sunday and appeared in seven games since returning from the IL on June 19. Overall this season he’s 2-3 with a 2.03 ERA across 15 appearances for the Dodgers.

Alexander focused on throwing strikes

Before the shoulder injury, Alexander had pitched well and only walked one hitter. “I think mechanics is such a huge thing with your timing of it and the way you’re using your body,” he said.

“That has so much to do with your ability to throw strikes consistently. I think that’s been a big thing. That’s something I worked on a lot with coaches and thought about a lot. I felt like if I can improve my command, just be able to get ahead and throw strikes, that my stuff was going to play up and be able to force weak contact.

“That’s kind of what happened at the beginning of the season. Definitely a focal point of mine is keeping my mechanics locked in and attacking the zone.”

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