Onelki Garcia could join J.P. Howell as the only left-handed relievers in the Dodgers’ bullpen for the stretch run. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
Left-hander Onelki Garcia threw a scoreless inning for Double-A Chattanooga on Sunday. Suddenly Garcia, who has spent the entire season on the disabled list to this point, suddenly has a chance to become the second left-hander in the Dodgers’ bullpen for the stretch run.
“It sounds like he’s feeling healthy and ready to go,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Left-handed pitcher. Had Tommy John surgery in June of last year. Had his appendix removed earlier this year. Stuck in extended spring training ever since, out of sight and out of mind.
Scott Elbert threw two bullpen sessions in extended spring training recently and hasn’t had any setbacks since, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. His fastball, which has averaged 92.1 mph in 120 career games, touched 90 mph on the radar gun during a recent live batting practice session.
“Scottie’s on the move and feeling good,” Mattingly said.
Could a minor-league rehab outing be next?
“I would think that he’s heading that way,” Mattingly said. “There’s been no talk about it. I think he’s a little bit behind Bills.”
Billingsley said Sunday that he could make five rehab starts, starting Saturday, before returning to the majors.
The news wasn’t as good on Onelki Garcia, another left-handed pitcher taking up space on the Dodgers’ 60-day disabled list.
Garcia underwent a procedure last November to remove bone spurs from his left elbow, and another in February to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.
Of Garcia, Mattingly reported “a lot of setbacks, one after the other.”
On March 15, after he pitched a scoreless inning against the San Diego Padres — something Brian Wilsoncouldn’t do last night — Urias still didn’t know where he would begin the regular season. At least the Dodgers’ prized pitching prospect had no trouble identifying the hardest part of being uprooted to the United States at 16.
“It wasn’t really hard except for the food,” he said in Spanish. “The food was probably the hardest part for me.”
Fortunately for Urias, now 17, there are many options in the neighborhood of the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate in the California League.
In case you’re counting at home, that’s four of the club’s top 10 prospects (per MLB.com) playing in one spot, about an hour east of Los Angeles.
Urias, Anderson and Windle all finished last season with Class-A Great Lakes, and each saw action in one Cactus League game. The Dodgers drafted Anderson and Windle in the first and second rounds of the 2013 draft, respectively, out of college. Urias was signed as a free agent out of Culiacan, Mexico.