LA Dodgers' rotation in disarray: Pitcher Brandon McCarthy put on disabled list with torn elbow ligament

April 28, 2015

The Los Angeles Dodgers' pitching rotation was already shaky given number three starter Hyun-Jin Ryu's shoulder problems this season, but today the news got significantly worse as the team placed right-handed pitcher Brandon McCarthy on the 15-day disabled list with a right UCL tear.  The Dodgers also recalled lefty pitcher Adam Liberatore from Triple-A.

McCarthy picked up a win on Saturday at San Diego, but was removed from the game during the sixth inning with right elbow tightness. In four starts this season, he’s gone 3-0 with a 5.87 ERA (15 ER/23.0 IP).

Other outlets have reported that McCarthy will have Tommy John surgery, meaning that he will likely be out for the season.

McCarthy has had a history of injuries during his career, but the Dodgers nevertheless decided to sign him to a lucrative free agent deal based on his potential.  Thus far, the gamble has not been successful.

With one member of the starting rotation gone, expect trade rumors to increase.  Veteran arms who might be targeted to replace McCarthy could include Cole Hamels, Jeff Samardzija, or Johnny Cueto.

The problem for Los Angeles will be the price.

The Dodgers would love to deal away veteran outfielder Andre Ethier for a pitcher, but Ethier's declining production and large contract is a non-starter for most teams.

Infielder Alex Guerrero is swinging a red-hot bat, potentially allowing for clubhouse favorite Juan Uribe to traded away.  Such a move would be very risky for LA however, since Uribe is a superior defensive third baseman and a clutch postseason hitter, while Guerrero is still unproven, particularly on defense.

Los Angeles could dish one of its three elite prospects in shortstop Corey Seager, center fielder Joc Pederson, or reliever Julio Urias, but given the vast upside of those young players, such a price may be too steep.

Liberatore, 27, last pitched on Saturday for Oklahoma City, striking out the side in a scoreless inning against Omaha (Royals).  He tossed 4.1 scoreless innings in three appearances with the Dodgers during his first stint with the club, allowing just one hit (1-for-13, .077) and striking out four. In three minor league outings this year with Oklahoma City, Liberatore allowed one run on three hits and struck out five in 3.0 innings.

By Staff of and news services

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