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Dodgers reliever Caleb Ferguson set to undergo Tommy John surgery

Dodgers relief pitcher Caleb Ferguson delivers during a game.
Dodgers relief pitcher Caleb Ferguson was on pace for a career-best season before sustaining a tear in his left ulnar collateral ligament.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tommy John surgery is “imminent” for injured reliever Caleb Ferguson, ending the left-hander’s season with the playoffs less than two weeks away.

The surgery is expected to take place “sometime next week,” Roberts said during a video call Thursday, a day after an MRI exam revealed a tear in Ferguson’s left ulnar collateral ligament.

“[He took the news] as good as he could take it, as anyone could take it,” Roberts said. “Just understanding it’s a long road ahead. But we’re going to be with him every step of the way.”

Despite a couple hiccups earlier this month, Ferguson had been having a career season out of the bullpen. In 21 appearances, the 24-year-old had a 2.89 ERA and 27 strikeouts to only three walks.

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The pitching situation for the Dodgers looks like elements for another postseason meltdown are in place, writes columnist Dylan Hernández.

With the help of a newly developed cutter and increased velocity with the fastball, Ferguson shut out opponents in all but four of his outings and had an ERA of 0.63 at the end of August.

After giving up five earned runs over three games the first week of September, Ferguson had posted consecutive shutout innings before entering Tuesday’s game in San Diego.

Ferguson faced one batter that night, striking out Jurickson Profar but injuring himself on the putaway pitch. He was placed on the injured list Wednesday before Thursday’s announcement of the Tommy John surgery.

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It is the second time Ferguson will undergo the procedure. He also needed it as a senior in high school, before he was drafted by the Dodgers in the 38th round in 2014.

“He is a big part of what we’re doing and what we’re planning on doing going forward,” Roberts said. “I just feel terrible.”

Without Ferguson, the Dodgers are left with four left-handed relievers on the active roster: Jake McGee, Adam Kolarek, Victor Gonzalez and Alex Wood. Fellow southpaw Scott Alexander is on the team’s taxi squad.


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