Two outings into his return from a partially torn shoulder capsule, Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen is heading back to the injured list.
The right-hander was placed on the 15-day IL Saturday with what the team called “right shoulder tightness,” after manager Dave Roberts said Trenien was battling some discomfort.
The 34-year-old veteran, who missed more than four months this season and only narrowly avoided season-ending surgery, hadn’t pitched since Monday. And now his status for the remainder of the campaign seems to be up in the air again.
“It’s not great,” Roberts said, “to be quite honest.”
Treinen was expected to be the setup man, coming off a stellar season in which he became one of the Dodgers’ most important relievers.
After he got hurt in April, the hope became that he could return down the stretch and bolster a bullpen that ranks third in the majors in earned-run average despite a rash of injuries.
Treinen won’t be able to return until Sept. 22 at the earliest. That would leave him less than two weeks to ramp up before the playoffs — and virtually no margin for error.
Roberts initially hoped Treinen would be available Saturday’, insisting Friday night that the soreness was nothing serious.
During Treinen’s pregame catch session, however, the issue hadn’t dissipated.
The tightness is in an area, the lat, that’s different from where Treinen partially tore his capsule — which he said likely would have required surgery had it not scarred over faster than expected — and, Roberts said, is “more on the normal side” for someone coming off this type of injury.
The problem, however, is that the mounting missed time is “preventing [Treinen] from doing what he needs to do,” Roberts said.
Saturday’s setback was made all the more frustrating by how sharp Treinen looked in his first two games back.
In a pair of scoreless appearances, Treinen retired six of the seven batters he faced, flashed his typical 96-to-98-mph sinker and got a strikeout with his sweeping slider.
It seemingly left him on track to finish the season strong, then slot back into an important postseason role. Instead, his status has been thrust back into uncertainty, with his shoulder once again refusing to cooperate with the start of the playoffs around the corner.