The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Yency Almonte prior to Wednesday’s game against the San Diego Padres, and placed Phil Bickford on the 15-day injured due to right shoulder fatigue.
Almonte had been out since Aug. 7 because of right elbow tightness. The expectation was he wouldn’t be out for an extended period, but the recovery took longer than anticipated. Almonte nevertheless continued with a throwing program after an encouraging MRI.
Prior to the injury, Almonte established himself as a high-leverage option out of the Dodgers bullpen. He’s appeared in 29 games and pitched to a 1.15 ERA, 3.26 FIP and 0.89 WHIP, while striking out 8.62 batters per nine innings.
Almonte had back-to-back scoreless appearances while on rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City, then allowed two runs his last time out.
Prior to signing a Minor League contract with the Dodgers last offseason, Almonte had Major League experience with the Colorado Rockies over parts of four seasons from 2018-2021.
Bickford’s regular season comes to a close five days after giving up home run No. 700 to Albert Pujols.
“At first I was upset that I gave up a home run,” Bickford said that night. “And then when the crowd reacted and seeing all the smiles, it was a very special moment for MLB. And Albert Pujols is also one of the most amazing people I have ever met.
“After I got over the being upset again at the home run, towards the very end of it, it was obviously a very special moment.”
Bickford dealt with inconsistency throughout the season as he went 2-1 with a 4.72 ERA, 4.27 FIP and 1.09 WHIP over a career-high 60 appearances. Bickford is eligible to return and pitch in the playoffs.
Mark Prior: Yency Almonte key to Dodgers bullpen
When discussing Almonte’s rise and success earlier this season, pitching coach Mark Prior cited the right-hander as an important member of the Dodgers bullpen.
If Almonte is able to remain healthy and effective, he presumably would earn a spot on the Dodgers postseason roster. The club has plenty of depth in their bullpen but do face some uncertainty with Blake Treinen trying to return from a right shoulder injury.
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