Shawn Tolleson‘s time on the Dodgers’ active roster was brief but costly.
Tolleson is scheduled to undergo back surgery today to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles. He is expected to return to competition in 3-5 months.
Tolleson started experiencing back stiffness after a rough travel day prior to his first and only appearance for the Dodgers on April 13. He received an epidural injection three days later and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
With today’s news, Tolleson could be transfered to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot on the 40-man roster if the Dodgers need it.
The news comes on the same day that Chad Billingsley had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
Dodgers pitcher Shawn Tolleson received an epidural injection in his lower back Monday. (Getty Images)
Shawn Tolleson pitched an inning Thursday afternoon in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That night, he and the Isotopes flew into Des Moines to play the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Friday morning, the Dodgers called up Tolleson to pitch in that night’s game in Phoenix, Arizona.
“I had a crazy travel day,” he said.
Along the way, Tolleson’s lower back stiffened up. The adrenaline got him through 11 pitches against the Diamondbacks — he walked both batters he faced — but it couldn’t mask the pain in his back at night.
The Dodgers shed a third catcher from their camp roster in as many days Tuesday by re-assigning Jesus Flores to the minors. That effectively hands the backup backstop’s job to Tim Federowicz.
Federowicz was the front-runner to be the number-two behind A.J. Ellis, but not a shoo-in when the Dodgers invited four more experienced catchers — Flores, Ramon Castro, Wilkin Castillo and Eliezer Alfonzo — as non-roster invitees. Alfonzo never reported to camp. Castro and Flores never hit. Castillo did (.333/.333/.389) but it wasn’t enough to unseat Federowicz, a 24-year-old who has never been on an Opening Day roster.
The bullpen picture became more clear when Shawn Tolleson was optioned to the Dodgers’ minor-league camp. The 25-year-old right-hander only allowed one run in seven appearances, but the team appears intent on giving a bullpen job to a more experienced righty such as Peter Moylan, Mark Lowe or Kevin Gregg, or rookie Josh Wall. The 34-year-old Gregg, who’s allowed two hits and no runs in six appearances, looks like the front-runner among that group. Left-hander Paco Rodriguez also remains in camp.
Justin Sellers was the third camp casualty Tuesday. The infielder was optioned to the minor-league camp after batting .150/.150/.190, with 3 hits and no walks in 21 plate appearances.
The major-league camp roster is down to 40 players.