Los Angeles Dodgers – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-06-26T03:29:40Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers Notes: Seager, Freese]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=164108 2019-06-26T02:19:19Z 2019-06-26T02:18:30Z
  • The Dodgers are hopeful shortstop Corey Seager will return immediately after next month’s All-Star break, manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday (via Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). Seager would end up missing about a month in that scenario, having gone to the IL with a left hamstring strain June 13. Meanwhile, fellow Dodgers infielder David Freese’s injured hamstring is “not responding like we’d hoped,” Roberts revealed. Nevertheless, the Dodgers are optimistic Freese – who just hit the shelf over the weekend – will come back prior to the break.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[A.J. Pollock Aiming For July 12 Return]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163973 2019-06-25T02:19:19Z 2019-06-25T02:19:19Z
  • Dodgers center fielder A.J. Pollock is hoping to return when the second half of the season kicks off July 12, Pedro Moura of The Athletic tweets. Pollock’s continuing to work back from the right elbow surgery he underwent at the start of May. Before going under the knife, Pollock got off a tough start in 2019 after emigrating from the Diamondbacks to the rival Dodgers over the winter on a four-year, $60MM contract. The 31-year-old has hit just .233/.287/.330 (64 wRC+) in 115 plate appearances this season, but considering his productive track record and the Dodgers’ goal of having capable depth everywhere, they’ll be glad to get Pollock back.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers To Promote Tony Gonsolin]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163976 2019-06-25T01:52:48Z 2019-06-25T00:17:36Z Right-hander Tony Gonsolin will start for the Dodgers in Arizona on Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com and other media (Ron Cervenka of ThinkBlueLA.com first reported Gonsolin’s promotion). The Dodgers’ 40-man roster is full, so they’ll need to make a corresponding move to create a spot for Gonsolin.

    The 25-year-old Gonsolin has been a member of the Los Angeles organization since it used a ninth-round pick on him in 2016. This year, in Gonsolin’s first Triple-A experience, he has recorded a terrific 2.77 ERA/3.57 FIP with 10.74 K/9 against 4.5 BB/9 in 26 innings. Gonolsin has averaged only a little over three frames per start in eight appearances this year, in part because of an early season oblique injury, though he did amass 128 innings in a 2018 campaign divided between the High-A and Double-A levels.

    MLB.com (No. 4) and FanGraphs (No. 6) each regard Gonsolin as one of the Dodgers’ best prospects. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com note Gonsolin boasts a fastball capable of hitting triple digits and solid secondary offerings in the form of a splitter, curveball and slider.

    With the help of his expansive repertoire, Gonsolin could develop into a No. 3 major league starter eventually, though he won’t face such pressure immediately. The front of the Dodgers’ rotation is already in enviable shape with Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu leading the way, but the club’s dealing with an injury to Rich Hill. As a result, Gonsolin will have a chance to join Kenta Maeda and Tuesday starter Ross Stripling toward the back of LA’s loaded rotation.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Not Planning To Target Starting Pitching At Deadline]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163873 2019-06-24T17:50:39Z 2019-06-24T05:36:01Z
  • Even with Rich Hill on the IL for an undetermined period of time, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman isn’t planning to make starting pitching a particular focus at the trade deadline.  “I don’t see it being an area where we spend a lot of energy,” Friedman told reporters, including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “Could that change? Of course. But I don’t expect it right now. We don’t expect it to be an area of need.”  In fact, Friedman didn’t think his team had any obvious weak spots, which perhaps isn’t a surprise given the Dodgers’ league-best 54-25 record.  Instead, the front office will look out for “impact players,” since such additions are “what moves the needle in October.”
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    George Miller <![CDATA[Dodgers Place David Freese On Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163820 2019-06-23T17:44:56Z 2019-06-23T17:13:26Z As expected, the Dodgers have placed infielder David Freese on the 10-day IL with a left hamstring strain, as reported by Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Catcher Will Smith has been recalled to take Freese’s spot on the active roster.

    Freese, 36, has emerged as a key part of the Dodgers’ offense, posting a career-best .308/.407/.592 slash line. The veteran infielder earned himself a one-year contract to return to Los Angeles after an impressive showing late last season, when he was acquired from the Pirates in August. This season, he has doubled down on that production and shown himself a steady contributor at the corner infield.

    Though Freese made a name for himself as a third baseman, he has suited up primarily at first for the first-place Dodgers, often spelling Max Muncy against left-handed pitchers. Surely, Freese will be missed, but Muncy has shown himself more than capable of handling southpaws when called upon, and the versatile Dodgers have a number of options who can pick up slack in Freese’s absence: Cody Bellinger, Enrique Hernandez, and Matt Beaty have experience at first, and the Dodgers would like Joc Pederson to get more reps there.

    Smith rejoins the Dodgers after getting his first taste of the Majors in May. Smith, regarded as an above-average offensive performer at the catcher position, flashed that potential in his first big-league stint, but hasn’t gotten enough experience to draw many conclusions. His numbers in Triple-A this season are impressive, slashing a tidy .291/.397/.609 in 49 games.

     

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers Could Place David Freese On Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163746 2019-06-23T04:31:35Z 2019-06-23T04:17:01Z Dodgers infielder David Freese is dealing with a knee issue that may require a stint on the injured list, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com was among those to report.

    The 36-year-old Freese has been an important cog this season for the first-place Dodgers, having slashed a tremendous .308/.407/.592 (163 wRC+) with eight home runs over 140 plate appearances in a reserve role. While the former Cardinal, Angel and Pirate has been a third baseman for most of his career, he has slotted in almost exclusively at first for the Dodgers this season.

    Freese has appeared in more games at first than any other Dodger in 2019, but one of the team’s calling cards is its ability to place capable players at every spot. Therefore, even if Freese goes on the IL, the Dodgers will have no shortage of replacements lined up. Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Matt Beaty, Enrique Hernandez and Joc Pederson have all joined Freese in starting at first this season.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Corey Seager, A.J. Pollock, Scott Alexander]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163627 2019-06-22T02:31:05Z 2019-06-22T02:31:05Z
  • Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager and center fielder A.J. Pollock could start rehab stints during next month’s All-Star break, manager Dave Roberts said Friday (Twitter links via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com). Meanwhile, reliever Scott Alexander still hasn’t returned to throwing since left forearm inflammation forced him to the injured list June 8. Seager went to the IL on June 13 with a left hamstring strain, which should cost him four to six weeks. Pollock underwent early May surgery on his troublesome right elbow. The expectation then was that he’d be back in July.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers Place Rich Hill On Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163380 2019-06-20T22:23:23Z 2019-06-20T22:23:30Z 5:23pm: Speaking to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (Twitter links) and other reporters, Hill said he was told he had a flexor tendon strain.  The southpaw has already received a PRP injection and won’t start throwing for around a month.  Hill didn’t have any firmer details about when he could be able to return to the mound, though he does expect to pitch again this season.

    5:05pm: The Dodgers have officially placed Hill on the 10-day injured list with a left forearm strain, as per a team announcement.  Infielder Matt Beaty was optioned to Triple-A, while right-handers Josh Sborz and JT Chargois will join the 25-man roster.

    7:14am: Dodgers starter Rich Hill lasted just one inning Wednesday before exiting with what the team called left forearm discomfort. While the southpaw will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury, a 10-day IL stint is a certainty, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.

    A forearm injury is ominous for a pitcher because it sometimes serves as a precursor to Tommy John surgery. Hill has already undergone the procedure once, in 2011, though he’s “pretty confident” he won’t require it this time. The 39-year-old revealed that a “very preliminary ultrasound” showed his elbow ligament’s still intact.

    Even if Hill has avoided a possible career-ending scenario with this injury, it will still represent the latest IL stint during his recent rebirth. A series of injuries have prevented the journeyman from throwing more than 135 2/3 innings in a season since he unexpectedly emerged as a quality starter late in 2015 with the Red Sox.

    The Dodgers acquired Hill from the Athletics during the summer of 2016 and then prevented him from leaving in free agency the ensuing winter with a three-year, $48MM contract. Now in the last season of his deal, the still-effective Hill has pitched to a 2.55 ERA/4.11 FIP with 10.36 K/9, 2.04 BB/9 and a 48.9 percent groundball rate over 10 starts and 53 innings.

    After Hill departed Wednesday, the Dodgers’ bullpen worked eight solid innings to help the first-place club cruise to a 9-2 win over the Giants. The Hill-less Dodgers will turn to fellow lefty Julio Urias to start Thursday, with righty Ross Stripling backing him up, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com tweets. With Urias and Stripling among fallbacks behind Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Walker Buehler and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers’ rotation should continue to perform like one of the majors’ best as it awaits Hill’s return.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[David Freese: Red Hot]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162719 2019-06-14T23:17:47Z 2019-06-14T23:15:44Z David Freese is best known for one small stretch of baseball – the 2011 World Series – in which his .348/.464/.696 slash in 28 plate appearances helped lead the Cardinals to a title and earn him World Series MVP honors. However, as great as Freese was during the Cardinals’ triumph over the Rangers seven years ago, he’s no one-hit wonder. Freese has been a solid major leaguer since his career began in 2009, evidenced by his .276/.351/.422 line (115 wRC+) with 110 home runs and 19.9 fWAR with the Cards, Angels, Pirates and Dodgers. Now 36 years old, Freese isn’t showing any serious signs of slowing down.

    With the Pirates out of contention at the end of last August and facing Freese’s impending trip to free agency, they traded him to the Dodgers. Los Angeles was enamored enough of Freese, who thrived with the club over a small sample last season, that it re-signed him to a one-year, $4.5MM guarantee almost immediately after its World Series loss to Boston. Seven months later, it’s looking like a fantastic decision on the Dodgers’ part.

    A third baseman for most of his career, Freese has essentially been a first base-only option for the Dodgers this year. From an offensive standpoint, first is one of the most demanding positions in the game, and Freese has handled it with aplomb. The right-handed hitter has  batted an eyebrow-raising .308/.419/.635 with eight home runs and a .327 ISO through 124 plate appearances, pulverizing both same- and left-handed pitchers along the way. Of hitters who have come to the plate at least 120 times this year, Freese’s 177 wRC+ ranks fifth.

    Is Freese this good? Considering what he has done over the life of his career, no. However, the veteran has made real strides in his advanced age. His 16.1 percent walk rate is nearly twice his lifetime figure, while his strikeout percentage (21.8) is down a bit relative to his career. At the same time, Freese is making far more hard contact and less soft contact than usual, according to FanGraphs, and putting the ball more in the air and less on the ground than he has in any other season. His 10.2-degree launch angle is far above his usual norm, per Statcast. All of that’s a recipe for added power. Interestingly, Freese is hitting to the opposite field more, though it certainly hasn’t led to a decrease in meaningful contact.

    Freese’s .348 batting average on balls in play indicates good fortune has been on his side, especially for a slow runner, but it’s not a bloated figure in his case. He has posted a .343 lifetime BABIP, after all. On the other hand, Freese’s .442 weighted on-base average – which sits third in the majors – definitely isn’t going to hold. However, his .395 expected wOBA sits 17th and isn’t indicative of a player who’s at high risk of seeing his production crash to Earth.

    Freese may no longer be an everyday player, but unlike most major leaguers in their late 30s, he remains a valuable contributor. Not only could Freese help the title-contending Dodgers to a World Series in 2019, but it appears he’ll encounter a fair amount of interest in free agency in the offseason. That’s if the Dodgers don’t re-sign him first, of course.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Place Corey Seager On 10-Day Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162510 2019-06-13T18:46:01Z 2019-06-13T18:31:43Z The Dodgers have placed star shortstop Corey Seager on the 10-day IL due to a left hamstring strain, as per a club announcement.  Seager’s placement is retroactive to June 12.  Taking Seager’s place on the roster is Matt Beaty, who has been activated from his own injured list stint.

    Seager suffered the injury on Tuesday while running the bases, and an MRI revealed (as reported by J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group) that the strain “is either a particularly bad Grade 2 or a more mild Grade 3.”  The issue is severe enough that Seager is currently projected to miss four-to-six weeks of action.

    The news puts a damper on what had been a successful comeback season for Seager, who missed all but 26 games of the 2018 campaign due to Tommy John surgery.  He also underwent hip surgery last August, though Seager didn’t look any worse for wear in his return to the field in 2019, hitting .278/.359/.468 with eight homers over 270 plate appearances.

    Losing Seager is a blow to even the deep and versatile Dodgers lineup, though Chris Taylor is a capable fill-in while Seager is out of action.  Enrique Hernandez also has experience at shortstop, and even backup catcher Russell Martin could play the position in a pinch.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Sign Zac Rosscup To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162365 2019-06-12T20:47:06Z 2019-06-12T20:47:06Z The Dodgers have signed left-hander Zac Rosscup to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City, per an announcement from Triple-A director of communications Alex Freedman (Twitter link). He’ll be active for tonight’s game.

    Rosscup, who turned 31 this week, spent the 2018 season in the Dodgers organization and pitched 11 1/3 innings at the big league level. While he posted an unsightly 4.76 ERA in that time, Rosscup also racked up 20 strikeouts against just four walks. He’s split the 2019 season between the Mariners and Blue Jays thus far, showing similarly impressive strikeout capabilities but an alarming jump in walk rate (22-to-16 K/BB ratio in 15 innings).

    Rosscup’s knack for missing bats and the huge swinging-strike rate he generates on his slider are tantalizing characteristics, but he’s been too prone to walks and home runs to find sustained success at the MLB level yet. He’ll vie for another shot in what has been a problematic Dodgers’ bullpen of late and could well get that opportunity if he pitches well in OKC, as both Scott Alexander and Tony Cingrani on the Major League injured list. Los Angeles currently has Julio Urias and Caleb Ferguson as southpaws in the ’pen, but Ferguson has struggled quite a bit in his 18 1/3 innings this year.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Corey Seager Suffers Hamstring Injury]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162310 2019-06-12T16:54:43Z 2019-06-12T06:25:14Z Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager exited the team’s game Tuesday with a left hamstring injury. Manager Dave Roberts said afterward the club believes he suffered a Grade 2 strain, though Seager will undergo an MRI for confirmation (via Pedro Moura of The Athletic).

    If the Dodgers’ fears are correct, Seager could end up missing at least a few weeks. To cite one recent example, Astros outfielder George Springer suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain May 25 and still hasn’t returned. A similar absence would mean another frustratingly short campaign for Seager, the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year who underwent Tommy John surgery last season and missed all but 26 games as a result. The 25-year-old also required left hip surgery in August, though his season was already long over at that point.

    Seager had been enjoying a healthy, productive 2019 prior to incurring his latest injury. Not only has Seager appeared in 66 of the Dodgers’ 68 games, but he has slashed .279/.359/.468 (121 wRC+) with eight home runs and 2.1 fWAR over 265 plate appearances.

    Seager’s production would be difficult to replace, especially given the tear he has been on this month. However, the cushion the 45-23 Dodgers have built in the National League West and the NL as a whole will give them some breathing room without Seager. For now, LA’s poised to turn to Chris Taylor as its primary shortstop, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers, First-Rounder Kody Hoese Agree To Terms]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162185 2019-06-11T20:34:56Z 2019-06-11T20:34:56Z The Dodgers have agreed to terms with first-rounder Kody Hoese, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (via Twitter). The now-former Tulane third baseman will receive the full slot value of $2,740,300 that accompanies the No. 25 overall selection.

    Specific evaluations of Hoese had a bit of variance, but he was generally regarded as a Day One talent in this year’s draft. Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs were most bullish on the 21-year-old, ranking him 16th among all draft prospects. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranked him 25th, while the Baseball America team tabbed him 29th and ESPN’s Keith Law pegged him 32nd overall.

    Scouting reports on Hoese generally agree that he possesses the potential for at least an average hit tool and above-average pop. There’s less certainty regarding his defense down the line, though Fangraphs and MLB.com both tout him as a potential average defender as well. Hoese posted an absurd .391/.486/.779 batting line with 23 home runs, 20 doubles and a triple in 286 plate appearances in his junior year, but his track record prior to the 2019 season was more marginal. He’s frequently tabbed as a late bloomer/breakout/pop-up prospect whose stock rose dramatically in his final season of college ball.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[The Dodgers Bullpen Probably Looks Worse Than It Is]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162154 2019-06-11T12:15:55Z 2019-06-11T12:15:55Z “It’s not that far off,” said Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly last night after his latest rough outing. “It probably looks worse than what it really is.”

    Kelly was referring to his own situation when he chatted with reporters (including Pedro Moura of The Athletic, Twitter link). But he probably could have spoken in similar terms of the Dodgers bullpen as a whole.

    The results haven’t been great; I won’t argue with you there. But the Dodgers actually sit in the middle of the pack as a unit by measure of both ERA and fielding independent pitching. There have been blown saves, but not a dramatic number in comparison to some other clubs.

    In many respects, it’s not even worth thinking too hard about how this relief unit looks right now. The Dodgers are blitzing an otherwise mediocre division. At 45-21, the team is easily the class of the entire National League to this point. The relief corps hasn’t been bad enough to jeopardize a seemingly inevitable march to a division crown.

    President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman certainly isn’t blind to the issues that do exist, as Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register recently covered. But he’s also focused primarily on the end goal: “It’s about feeling like we’ve got four to five ’pen arms in October that we trust and can help us,” says Friedman. “That’s what you need.”

    So, can the Dodgers get to that desired handful of trustworthy hurlers? (And maybe settle upon two or three nice complimentary specialists to fill out a postseason roster?) Beyond acknowledging the potential for outside additions, Friedman says he still believes in the players currently populating the major-league roster. He also cites “other guys that are knocking on the door for an audition at some point.”

    Kenley Jansen remains the rock. He’s not what he was, but it’d be foolish to say he’s washed up when he’s carrying 12.5 K/9 against 1.7 BB/9. Pedro Baez has his warts but keeps getting results; he’s through 28 1/3 innings this year with a 3.18 ERA. The numbers aren’t as promising this year as last for Dylan Floro, as he hasn’t continued to suppress home runs, but he’s still managing a 3.13 ERA in 23 frames.

    That trio constitutes something of a core, but it’s not the most intimidating of late-inning bunches. And the rest of the arms come with yet more questions. Yimi Garcia and Scott Alexander are among the team’s most-used other hurlers. The former has been torched by the long ball and may be at risk if he can’t find a groove. The latter is exhibiting declining swinging-strike and groundball numbers, but remains at least an interesting change-of-pace arm.

    Alexander is the sort of hurler that Friedman seems to be thinking of when he refers to having “enough diversified looks” in the current unit. But what is it that gives the veteran baseball exec confidence that it’s “more about augmenting than tearing down” when it comes to structuring his bullpen?

    The sheer volume of possibilities is part of what inspires confidence. It starts with the current or future excess rotation pieces. Ross Stripling has seen a bit of a velo fall-off this year, and has been better in the rotation than the pen, but is an excellent swingman to have around. Lefty Julio Urias has boosted his velocity and swinging-strike rates are up in a relief role. (His future remains clouded by an ongoing domestic violence investigation, though he won’t face prosecution unless he fails to meet the conditions set by authorities.) Veteran Kenta Maeda has been a flexible piece for the Dodgers in years past and will be useful in some capacity come October.

    There are multiple swing-and-miss guys amassed at Triple-A, including 40-man members JT Chargois (30 strikeouts in 24 innings) and Josh Sborz (34 strikeouts in 26 innings) as well as experienced former big leaguers Kevin Quackenbush (43 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings) and Justin Grimm (41 strikeouts in 26 innings). There are a host of other plausible arms bouncing around in the upper reaches of the Dodgers farm. In addition to several hurlers with 40-man spots who’ve already had some prior MLB opportunities, the Dodgers have some untested prospects nearing readiness. Tony Gonsolin, Mitchell White, and Dustin May are among them.

    So did we leave anyone out? Oh, right, Kelly …

    The Dodgers clearly targeted him over the offseason, drawn to his big velocity and promising peripherals. Kelly has boosted his strikeout rate to 11 per nine and run up his groundball rate to 55.4%, but he is coughing up 1.69 HR/9 on a 28.6% HR/FB rate. Opposing hitters carry a .377 BABIP and Kelly’s strand rate sits at just 56.9%. There’s cause to believe regression is coming, but he’s also being tuned up for a 49.2% hard-hit rate.

    If Kelly can get things on track in the next several weeks, the Dodgers will have added confidence in their ability to trot out five strong arms late in the year. Regardless, the late-inning group looks in need of supplementation. But that’s not much of a concern for an organization that has so much talent on and around the MLB roster. Friedman will have plenty of options on the trade market. With a huge division lead providing breathing room, the veteran exec sees a path to getting the unit he desires when the time comes: “We’ll operate on dual tracks of doing everything we can to get our existing guys better while canvassing the market.”

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Tony Cingrani To Undergo Shoulder Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162098 2019-06-11T02:11:24Z 2019-06-11T01:43:38Z
  • Dodgers lefty Tony Cingrani has undergone surgery on his left shoulder labrum, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports on Twitter. The recovery will cost him the remainder of the season. This news doesn’t come as a surprise, but it does represent confirmation that Cingrani will hit the open market without throwing another pitch in Los Angeles.
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