Since the Los Angeles Dodgers opened camp in February, Joe Kelly and Mitch White have trailed behind other pitchers throughout Spring Training. Manager Dave Roberts has largely downplayed concern, but to this point neither has appeared in a Cactus League game.
“I had a little shoulder impingement. It was kind of pinching in the back and we had to strengthen some stuff up front. Now after a few weeks it’s been good,” White explained of his injury.
“I probably started throwing a couple weeks ago and I just threw my first ‘pen two days ago. I’ll throw another one [Saturday] and kind of build up from there. So hopefully in a little over a week I’ll be good to go.”
White is hopeful to get into a Cactus League game, but that may be more wish than reality as the Dodgers have just one week remaining before breaking camp.
Whenever the right-hander is able to begin facing batters — which likely will come at the Dodgers’ alternate training site — he will prepare for the regular season as a relief pitcher at least for the time being.
“But you know how baseball goes, especially with this team. Even though we’re so deep, you really never know,” White noted. “As of now, because of the rehab, because of the guys we have in place already, I’m going to be a reliever and just kind of feel it out from there.”
Roberts not expecting to see White
When told of White’s comments about potentially pitching in a game during Spring Training, Roberts all but officially ruled out the possibility. “I doubt that we’ll get Mitchell in a game,” he said.
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but looking at where he is with ‘pens, facing live hitters, I just don’t see it happening.”
What Roberts did corroborate is Mitchell being viewed as a relief pitcher. “I think right now it gets him back on a roster sooner,” Roberts explained. “So when you’re talking about a guy that can take down two or three innings, makes the most sense.”
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