It’s not all free agents, trades, and big splashes for teams in the offseason. There’s also all that organizational fun like preparing for the rule 5 draft, monitoring players in the Arizona Fall League, and of course, dealing with injuries from the season before.
For the Dodgers, we received some update on a pair of pitchers who missed the 2021 season while recovering from elbow surgery. Both left-hander Caleb Ferguson and right-hander Tommy Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery toward the end of the 2020 season and spend the last year-plus recovering.
During the GM meetings earlier this month, Dodgers president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, share a mini update on the status of the relievers. The update comes via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic.
Friedman said both will be available by opening day “or shortly thereafter.”
Ferguson played a big role in the bullpen for Dave Roberts during the 2020 season before his elbow gave way and forced him to undergo reconstructive surgery for the second time in his life. Kahnle joined the Dodgers on a two-year deal last offseason with the assumption that he would likely miss the 2021 season while recovering from August 2020 surgery.
Related: Tommy Kahnle Out For Season, Was He a Bad/Good Signing? Knebel is Bullpen’s X-Factor
With several key arms from the 2021 bullpen currently free agents, LA could opt to go in-house for replacements next season with Ferguson and Kahnle filling innings left behind by the departures of Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, and Corey Knebel among others. Still, the team expects to remain in play on several of their own free agents, including Kelly and Jansen.
As it stands, returning alongside Ferguson and Kahnle in the bullpen for 2022 are Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol, Phil Bickford, Alex Vesia, Justin Bruihl and more.