Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers were expecting Julio Urías to return from the 15-day injured list and start against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, but those plans changed when he suffered a setback after his latest bullpen session.
Because Urías was still experiencing lingering tightness, Caleb Ferguson started in the series finale at Citizens Bank Park.
The Dodgers utilizing a bullpen game came just two days after Victor González served as an opener and retired two of three batters faced before giving way to Michael Grove.
Despite losing to the Phillies in the finale of their road trip, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes the team can continue to get by with bullpen games for the time being.
“Bullpen games, I do think, for me, it’s certainly not sustainable over the course of a long period of time. But I think in its own right, can be very positive,” Roberts said.
“It wasn’t in Philadelphia, but I think if you watched the game, you can see there’s more than the line score. But again, I think we all agree it’s not sustainable and we all expect Julio back at some point. That’s kind of the genesis behind this. We’re trying to do the best that we can as far as on that day, try to do the best that we can to prevent runs.”
The Dodgers made bullpen games a regular part of their routine in 2021 after Dustin May was lost to Tommy John surgery and Clayton Kershaw missed time due to a forearm injury.
Bullpen games have become popular in recent years, with the Tampa Bay Rays among the teams that frequently use openers as opposed to traditional starting pitchers.
The Dodgers’ current rotation consists of Kershaw, Grove, Bobby Miller and Tony Gonsolin. Walker Buehler, Ryan Pepiot, Noah Syndergaard, May and Urías are among the team’s starters currently on the IL.
Dodgers didn’t consider recalling Gavin Stone for spot start
The Dodgers could have recalled Gavin Stone from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start against the Phillies, but they didn’t give consideration to the possibility.
The right-hander struggled through his first three MLB starts and was optioned back to the Minors at the end of May. Stone allowed six runs on 10 hits, including two homers, over 4.1 innings pitched in his most recent start for OKC this past Friday.
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