CINCINNATI -- Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda’s injury comes at an inopportune time for him and the team, but it is not considered serious.
Maeda was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday with a left leg contusion resulting from a foul ball while batting during Wednesday’s game. According to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, placing Maeda on the IL was a precautionary move. He also wanted to avoid Maeda favoring the leg and adversely impacting his mechanics.
“It’s a thing where the ball hits it, and there’s some inflammation,” Roberts said. “If we can kind of protect him, we’re going to do that. It’s not serious.”
Roberts said Maeda is throwing an "aggressive" bullpen on Tuesday or Wednesday in Tampa Bay, then he will be assessed.
But it is unfortunate. Maeda is coming off his best start of the season on Wednesday, striking out 12 -- one shy of his career high -- with no walks in the 2-0 victory over the Padres. Maeda also drove in both runs.
“I’ll be back soon,” Maeda said, via a translator. “Nothing to worry about. I have to work my way back to keep the good luck going.”
The right-hander is 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA over 51 1/3 innings in 2019. He has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his nine starts.
Maeda credits his recent success to adjustments made with his slider and hopes the injury doesn’t send him back to square one. The changes were made after he allowed four earned runs at San Diego on May 5. Since then, he hasn’t allowed an earned run in 12 2/3 innings.
“I was able to put a little more break on the slider,” Maeda said. “I wanted some sideways [movement] on my slider, and it had a vertical [movement]. I had some trouble getting there. Since I gave up four runs in San Diego, I made a small adjustment.”
For now, Maeda waits.
In other moves on Friday, the Dodgers recalled infielder Matt Beaty and selected the contract of outfielder Kyle Garlick from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Los Angeles had an open spot on its 25-man roster after optioning catcher Rocky Gale and right-hander JT Chargois to Triple-A on Thursday when it activated left-hander Caleb Ferguson from the injured list, so an additional move was not needed to add both Beatty and Garlick after placing Maeda on the IL.
It’s the second stint in the Majors for Beaty, 26, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI as a pinch-hitter in his first stint, recording his first career hit on April 30 at San Francisco. In 28 games for Oklahoma City, he hit .299 with three homers and 15 RBI.
“With Matt, it’s his second time up,” Roberts said. “Hopefully we’ll get him a start at some point to get somebody a day off.”
When he plays, Garlick, 27, will make his Major League debut. He was batting .280 with a team-leading 10 homers and 20 RBI for Oklahoma City. In five Minor League seasons, the former 28th-round Draft pick out of Cal Poly Pomona is a combined .283 with 78 homers and 244 RBI.
“I was really in kind of disbelief,” said the Chino Hills native of his callup. “I woke up Beaty because he had just gotten the call that he’s going up, too. Then I called my parents and my agent. I was swinging it well down there, but I know the team was doing really well and they are stacked in the outfield. I really had no idea what moves they were going to make.”
Like Beaty, Garlick is not expected to get many starts but rather serve a role off the bench.
“Really excited for him,” said Roberts. “He’s off to a great start. He gives us a bat off the bench and a possible double-switch.”