Caleb Ferguson goes to Dodgers’ Injured List as Rich Hill returns

first_imgThe flags around Ferguson were already crimson before Saturday’s outing. With Julio Urias moved to the bullpen, Ferguson appeared to be the odd man out when Hill returned. The fact that he wasn’t pitching well didn’t help.Over his first nine appearances, Ferguson allowed one run on 10 hits while striking out 12 in 10 1/3 innings. In four appearances over the week before going on the IL, Ferguson faced 17 hitters and gave up four hits, walked five and hit a batter.“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 of it,” Roberts said. “If you look at the radar gun, it’s been very consistent, coming out well. So now you layer in the execution or mechanics.“He’s got great stuff. Then you see things like hitting a right-handed batter with a breaking ball. Things like that don’t add up with what he’s capable of. You never really know (if it’s an injury). But this is the first we’ve heard of it. I’m taking it at face value.”CATCHING UPActivated from the Injured List Saturday, Russell Martin started at catcher Sunday for the first time since April 8. Austin Barnes started 14 of the 18 games in between. For Barnes, it was his most extensive playing time in the big leagues – and he looked a little worse for the wear. Barnes batted just .130 (6 for 46) with 13 strikeouts in the stretch.“I think he handled it very well,” Roberts said. “I think if we all look to the stat-line on the offensive side, probably not. But I think if you look at what he did with the pitchers, I thought he did really well. But that’s in the sense of when you’re not going well and you don’t have someone else to take on the workload, it gets more magnified. I think that sort of happened as well.”The mental and physical grind of handling so much of the responsibility likely contributed to Barnes’ offense disappearing after he started the season 8 for 19 (.421) with two home runs.“That’s a possibility but I don’t think the player will ever admit to that,” Roberts said.“No player ever wants to hear this. But I think when you’re talking about two very competent catchers, to share the workload as we envisioned when we put this roster together, that’s one benefit. Not to say he can’t do if you’re talking six out of seven or things like that. But I think there’s just something to keeping your mind and your body fresh. That’s something we did the first two weeks and I thought it worked really well.”HILL COMES OUT SWINGINGIn his first at-bat of the season, Hill lined a single into right field. He laid down a sacrifice bunt in his second at-bat, finishing the game with a 1.000 batting average – the best in the majors.“Yeah, that’s the biggest takeaway from this game,” Hill said sardonically.It’s an important takeaway for Max Muncy, who enjoys Hill’s gusto for the game in all its aspects.“Whenever anybody tells them they should add the DH to the National League, that’s my argument against it –we wouldn’t get to watch Rich bat,” Muncy said. “Whatever aspect of the game it is, he gives it everything he has.”UP NEXTDodgers (RHP Kenta Maeda, 3-2, 5.20 ERA) at Giants (RHP Jeff Samardzija, 2-1, 3.00 ERA), 6:45 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available), AM 570 LOS ANGELES – With Rich Hill ready to come off the Injured List on Sunday, something had to give.It was Caleb Ferguson’s oblique.Ferguson was placed on the IL Sunday, clearing a roster spot, after apparently injuring an oblique muscle in his left side. Ferguson faced three batters in Saturday’s game, failing to retire any of them. He walked two and gave up a single to load the bases in the eighth inning.“He felt something in his left side. Oblique-ish,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before Sunday’s game. “Any time you talk about the side, the oblique, with a pitcher — or any player really — it’s a red flag.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more