Alexander's setback another blow to LA 'pen

July 21st, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- With the search for relief in overdrive approaching the July 31 Trade Deadline, Dodgers left-handed reliever has been shut down indefinitely with nerve damage in his left thumb, manager Dave Roberts said on Saturday.

Alexander was placed on the 10-day disabled list on June 11 with left forearm inflammation, one of several disappointments for Dodgers lefty relievers this year. Included was the season-ending shoulder surgery for Tony Cingrani, multiple options of Caleb Ferguson and the DFA of Zac Rosscup.

“There’s a little bit of stuff going on with his nerve and his thumb,” Roberts said of Alexander. “He hasn’t had the feel of the baseball for quite some time, and we were trying to figure out why. They diagnosed [that] it might be damage. With time, he can be back to full recovery. But it’s hard to throw when you can’t feel the baseball. It’s just more time.”

When Alexander went on the injured list, he was 3-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.

With Julio Urias the only bullpen lefty who has performed to expectations, the Dodgers have been rumored in pursuit of every left-handed reliever presumed available, including the Giants' Will Smith, the Pirates' Felipe Vazquez and the Royals' Jake Diekman.

Will OKC standouts soon head to LA?

Roberts deflected a question about the potential for early callups from Triple-A of catcher Will Smith, infielder Gavin Lux and outfielder DJ Peters, who are playing spectacularly for Oklahoma City.

“They’re playing really good baseball. Things can happen,” said Roberts. “Right now, I’m not thinking about September callups, or before. They’re obviously making our jobs more difficult and intriguing, which is what they should do. There’s a lot of good players in our system knocking at the door. Only time will tell.”

Smith has a .995 OPS, Peters a 1.273 and Lux an amazing 1.580 going into Saturday’s play. Peters and Lux were promoted earlier this month from Double-A.

Although Lux was drafted as a shortstop and has played there most of his Minor League career, he made his first Triple-A appearance at second base starting Friday night. Lux is a left-handed hitter, like current Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager. In Spring Training this year, Lux had throwing issues, but hasn’t experienced any during the season.

Fernando joins 'Legends of Dodger Baseball'

Prior to Saturday night’s game, Dodgers left-hander Fernando Valenzuela was inducted into the “Legends of Dodger Baseball.”

Among those paying tribute to Valenzuela were Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, scout Mike Brito and former catcher Mike Scioscia, who called Valenzuela “fearless” and “accountable.”

Worth noting

• Left-handed reliever Zac Rosscup, designated for assignment on Monday, was outrighted to Oklahoma City on Saturday.