The Los Angeles Dodgers have tried out a variety of relievers in order to get their bullpen ready for the 2019 postseason. Some, like Casey Sadler and Adam Kolarek, both midseason pickups from the Tampa Bay Rays, have worked out. Others, like Jaime Schultz, have not.
Schultz, who allowed four runs in five innings pitched over four games with the Dodgers this season, was designated for assignment once Rich Hill was activated off the 60-day injured list last week.
Schultz cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he spent most of the 2019 season.
Schultz was a 14th-round draft pick of the Rays back in 2013. He spent the first five seasons of his professional career in the Rays’ Minor League system before joining the Dodgers in 2019.
He made his MLB debut in 2018 with the Rays but struggled, finishing with a 5.64 ERA over 30.1 big league innings. He was even worse in Triple-A Durham, however, recording a 5.75 ERA in 36 innings last season.
His numbers have been similar with OKC this year. Schultz has appeared in 47 Triple-A games in 2019, recording a 5.85 ERA over 47.2 innings.
Although Schultz’s season is over, he represents depth for the Dodgers next year.
Meanwhile, after months of uncertainty, the Dodgers’ expected postseason pitching staff is finally starting to round into form. Pedro Baez and Joe Kelly figure to be primary late-innings arms along with Kenley Jansen, who president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman still expects to close.
Hill was the frontrunner to be the team’s fourth starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu despite missing most of the second half with a left forearm flexor strain.
However, he injured his knee after facing just two batters in his start Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles.
Hill was later diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his knee, the same injury that sidelined him for the start of the regular season. He expects to face batters on Friday and return to the rotation next week against the San Diego Padres.
Hill’s availability for the remainder of the season will largely hinge on pain tolerance after an MRI revealed there was not any structural damage in his left knee.