The Dodgers extended an unwanted National League record on Wednesday, placing two more players on the disabled list to increase the season-long total to 25. The maneuvers stripped the bullpen of two of its more useful relievers, as Adam Liberatore reported left elbow inflammation and Louis Coleman was shut down due to right shoulder fatigue.
The loss of Liberatore stings, as he had become one of the key setup men for closer Kenley Jansen. To fill out the relief corps, the Dodgers promoted rookie Julio Urias and recent addition Josh Fields.
Manager Dave Roberts could only chuckle at the season-long injury binge.
“I’m very hesitant to say ‘It can’t get any worse,’ ” Roberts said. “We’ve just got to handle it, and manage it. That’s what we’ve been doing.”
Liberatore said he first experienced soreness in his elbow in the middle of June. He managed the discomfort as he set a franchise record with 28 consecutive scoreless appearances. Liberatore posted a 1.62 earned-run average in 44 appearances. Roberts trusted him to face both left-handed and right-handed hitters.
The situation worsened when Liberatore tweaked his knee while fielding his position on July 24 in St. Louis. With his knee sore, his delivery placed more stress on his elbow.
“I didn’t feel like I could throw anything with conviction,” Liberatore said. “I didn’t want it to get worse.”
Liberatore underwent Tommy John surgery in college. He indicated he did not receive an MRI exam for this injury.
Coleman has appeared in a career-high 50 games already this season. His ERA is 3.70, but opposing hitters have posted a .949 on-base-plus-slugging percentage against him since June.
“He’s pitched as much as he’s ever pitched,” Roberts said. “So we’re giving him a chance to get healthy and get right and help us going forward.”
The Dodgers also optioned outfielder Andrew Toles to triple-A Oklahoma City. The team needed to make room for spot starter Brock Stewart. Toles appeared in 16 games and hit .316.