Dodgers righty Blake Treinen began a minor league rehab assignment at the team’s Arizona Complex League affiliate on Tuesday and is now headed to Triple-A Oklahoma City to continue that rehab, tweets Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. However, manager Dave Roberts conceded that it’s a “long shot” that the former relief ace will be able to contribute for the Dodgers down the stretch.
Treinen, 35, underwent shoulder surgery back in November and is already passed the 10-month recovery window the Dodgers laid out at the time of surgery. The right-hander said earlier this month that he’d been throwing bullpen sessions and remained optimistic about his chances of returning before the end of the season. With Treinen now heading to Triple-A, he’ll have a 30-day rehab window in the minors.
Treinen spent the majority of the 2022 season on the injured list, pitching just five innings, and hasn’t taken a big league mound since Sept. 5 of last year. His 2021 season was nothing short of elite, however. The veteran righty posted a sparkling 1.99 ERA with a hefty 29.7% strikeout rate, a solid 8.7% walk rate and a strong 52.6% ground-ball rate in 72 1/3 innings.
A sixth-place finisher in 2018 AL Cy Young voting when he saved 38 games with a 0.78 ERA for the A’s, Treinen has routinely been a source of missed bats and grounders when healthy. He’s worked in high-leverage roles for the Nationals, A’s and Dodgers in a nine-year big league career, logging a 2.86 ERA with 87 holds and 79 saves in 503 innings at the big league level.
Roberts, of course, chose not to completely close the door on a potential Treinen return, and it’s further possible that the right-hander could return at some point during the postseason, if he’s indeed healthy enough to do so. Treinen is one of nine relievers on the injured list with the Dodgers, but Roberts still boasts a strong back end of the bullpen led by Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, Caleb Ferguson and resurgent righty Ryan Brasier (1.11 ERA in 24 1/3 innings since joining Los Angeles).
Even if Treinen’s unable to return this season, his progress in Oklahoma City will be worth watching closely. The Dodgers hold a club option on Treinen that’ll be valued between $1MM and $7MM. Presumably, given Treinen’s lack of innings this year, it will land at or near the bottom of that range.