Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been without Andrew Heaney for most of the season as he has dealt with two instances of a left shoulder strain.
The southpaw was placed on the 15-day injured list June 24 and projected to miss upwards of five turns through the rotation, but the Dodgers believed it was less serious than his previous injury.
Heaney joined the Dodgers on their road trip to St. Louis on Tuesday to throw a simulated game as progressed from a bullpen session last week. It appears all went well for the 31-year-old as he is now set to move on to the next part of his rehab.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Heaney will go on a rehab assignment with a start Saturday for the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, via SportsNet LA:
“He came out of it well. It was 32 or 33 pitches, up-down, so I think right now he’s slated for a rehab assignment in Rancho on Saturday. And if he can go three or four innings there, then we’ll see where we go from there.”
Roberts added the Dodgers have not yet decided if Heaney will make multiple starts while on rehab assignment:
“It’s possible for him to have only one start. It kind of depends on how that one goes. I would probably assume it’s going to be two rehab outings, but that’s not set in stone.”
On the season, Heaney has posted a 0.59 ERA and 2.16 FIP in 15.1 innings pitched. The short stint of success is almost justifying given how bad his 2021 season was and lends validation as to why the Dodgers gave him a one-year, $8.5 million contract.
Roberts previously expressed frustrated and disappointment for Heaney due to his injuries after the hard work the veteran starting pitcher has put in already.
Heaney’s absence has also put extra stress on Roberts to manage a rotation void of the southpaw and Walker Buehler, while maintaining a close eye on keeping Clayton Kershaw healthy, and avoiding placing too much of a burden on Julio Urías and Tony Gonsolin.
Jimmy Nelson has ‘unfinished business’ with Dodgers
The Dodgers made an upside play on Jimmy Nelson prior to the 2020 season, which didn’t pan out as he suffered a back injury during Spring Training that ultimately required surgery.
The Dodgers declined their team option on Nelson, but he re-signed for the 2021 season shortly after. Nelson again struggled to remain healthy but was effective when on the mound, going 1-2 with a 1.86 ERA and 44 strikeouts over 28 games (one start).
Nelson underwent Tommy John surgery and a flexor tendon repair last August, which makes it unlikely he will pitch this year. The Dodgers nevertheless re-signed the 33-year-old to a one-year contract with a team option for the 2023 season and he is hoping to defy odds and return to a Major League mound in September.
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