A minor injury provided a convenient escape hatch for Dylan Floro, the struggling reliever who was placed on the 10-day injured list because of neck inflammation before Friday night’s game against the Marlins.
“Every player wants to figure it out on the active roster, but Dylan knows he hasn’t thrown the baseball as well as he did in the first month,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“Sometimes you can kind of get out of it, whether it’s an option [to the minor leagues] or, in this situation, a minor neck injury. Hopefully this can get him out of the hot box, the day-to-day grind, and maybe give him a little bit of a reset.”
Floro was one of the team’s best relievers for the first five weeks, opening the season with 16 appearances in which he did not give up an earned run in 17 1/3 innings through May 9. In 21 games since, the right-hander has allowed 16 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings for an 8.15 ERA that bumped his season ERA to 4.11.
Floro’s average fastball velocity of 93.8 mph is a tick up from last season, but his cut fastball and changeup have not been as effective against left-handed hitters, who are batting .378 with a .973 on-base-plus-slugging percentage against him. Floro has held right-handers to a .196 average and .528 OPS.
“For the last month, he hasn’t been consistent as far as his command,” Roberts said, “most notably against the left-handers.”
Roberts said Floro informed him on the flight home from Philadelphia on Thursday night that his neck was bothering him. Right-hander Casey Sadler, who made two appearances for the Dodgers this week before being optioned to triple-A Thursday, was recalled Friday.
“Hopefully it will be a short-term thing,” Roberts said. “Obviously, a pitcher having a tough time with a neck is going to compromise him.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Hall-of-Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin and former manager Tommy Lasorda are among the dignitaries scheduled to attend a Tuesday ceremony to unveil the official logo of the 2020 All-Star game, which will be played in Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers will also unveil plans for stadium renovations in 2020, as well as a new center-field entertainment plaza, during the 1:30 p.m. on-field ceremony, which is not open to the public.
Roberts, current players Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, Walker Buehler, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson, and former Dodgers Steve Garvey, Fernando Valenzuela, Ron Cey and Bill Russell are also scheduled to attend.
Roberts said he planned to use Kenta Maeda for at least one inning of relief as an in-between-starts tuneup after the right-hander’s start in Philadelphia on Wednesday night was reduced to two innings because of rain.
But despite the team’s obvious need for relief help, Roberts said the Dodgers have no immediate plans to move Maeda to the bullpen like they did in the 2017 and 2018 postseasons. Maeda is 7-6 with a 3.75 ERA in 19 starts this season.
Legend of Fernando
Valenzuela, who rose from the small town of Navojoa, Mexico, to major league stardom as a 20-year-old pitcher in 1981, spawning the phenomenon known as “Fernandomania” and leading the Dodgers to a World Series title, will be inducted as a Legend of Dodger Baseball during a pregame ceremony Saturday.
Former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia, who retired in 2018 after 19 years as the Angels’ manager, Jarrin and scout Mike Brito will help unveil the plaque of the screwball-throwing left-hander during the 5:30 p.m. ceremony. The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead doll.