In what figures to be the first of multiple maneuvers to improve the team’s bullpen, the Dodgers acquired pitchers Dylan Floro and Zach Neal from Cincinnati in exchange for minor league pitchers James Marinan and Aneurys Zabala. The Dodgers also received international bonus pool money in the trade.
Floro, a 27-year-old right-hander from Cal State Fullerton, will join the Dodgers in the coming days. Neal, a 29-year-old right-hander, will be assigned to triple-A Oklahoma City. Both spent time with the Dodgers in the past: The team designated Neal for assignment on April 3. Floro made eight appearances for Oklahoma City last season.
Floro has been a useful reliever for the Reds this season, with a 2.72 ERA in 25 appearances. His peripheral numbers are less exciting: Floro has struck out 6.7 batters per nine innings while walking three batters per nine. He leans on fastballs and cutters to generate grounders.
“Really good sinker, gets righties out and lefties,” manager Dave Roberts said before Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh. “Keeps the ball down. He’s a guy who can go multiple innings, if we need it, as well.”
The Dodgers are expected to make more moves to acquire pitching as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. While the team remains engaged with Baltimore over star shortstop Manny Machado, rival executives believe the organization’s most pressing need involves the bullpen, which does not feature a reliable bridge to closer Kenley Jansen.
BUEHLER BACK AFTER REHAB OUTING
Walker Buehler is scheduled to throw five simulated innings Sunday as his final tuneup before being activated on the big league roster, Roberts said. Buehler threw three innings for class-A Rancho Cucamonga as the team rebooted his return from a microfracture in his ribcage. Buehler had thrown 35 pitches in a relief outing with the big league club last week.
Buehler returned to the Dodgers clubhouse Wednesday.
“After my last outing here, I was pretty sore, because I hadn’t thrown in a long time,” he said. “Today feels like I threw 45 pitches, not like I threw 1,000.”
KOEHLER, URIAS MAKING PROGRESS IN ARIZONA
Julio Urias, who has not pitched in a game since last May before undergoing shoulder surgery, touched 91-92 mph during a bullpen session earlier this week, Roberts said. The manager described this as “encouraging.” The team has said Urias will pitch this season, but there is no timetable for his return.
Tom Koehler (anterior capsule strain) continues to work out at Camelback Ranch with Urias. Koehler, signed as a free agent in December, has yet to throw a pitch for the Dodgers.
A fleet of Dodgers pitchers will soon join them in the desert. The team will send Hyun-Jin Ryu (torn groin muscle), Josh Fields (shoulder inflammation), Tony Cingrani (shoulder discomfort) and Pedro Baez (biceps tendinitis) to Camelback Ranch while the team travels to Anaheim and San Diego next week.
SHORT HOPS: The Dodgers will use Thursday’s off day to give each pitcher in the starting rotation an extra day of rest. With Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling and Alex Wood lined up for the Freeway Series, Clayton Kershaw will start Monday in San Diego.