Dodgers’ Joel Peralta returns from potentially career-ending injury

first_imgThough he missed less than two months, Peralta recalled the journey as emotionally draining.“I was two days away from surgery, then everything started turning back around,” he said. “I told people to start praying for me, and I think that’s what helped. God was the one who got me out of surgery and got me to start playing.”If Peralta needed surgery to relieve the pressure on his nerve, he said it would have ended his season and possibly his career.Back in April when he was healthy, Peralta was effective. He did not allow a run in seven appearances and collected three saves in Kenley Jansen’s absence.When healthy, Peralta can regularly hit 89-90 mph on the radar gun, something he did in his final week of rehab at Triple-A. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Peralta adds “a different look” to the current mix of relievers: “A little more like J.P. (Howell), a guy that’s going to change speeds, a guy with experience pitching in big games, capable of pitching to the middle of the order.”Peralta appeared in 297 games from 2011-15 — almost 75 games per season. To get back to feeling 100 percent, Peralta said he might need to pitch with similar frequency.“Pitch four days in a row, rest two days, pitch three days in a row — that was always my best outing because I was pitching consistently,” he said.Bullpen shuffleTo make room for Peralta on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned right-handed reliever Matt West to Triple-A Oklahoma City. They also recalled left-handed pitcher Ian Thomas from Triple-A, swapping spots with left-hander Daniel Coulombe.Thomas had been starting recently at Oklahoma City but is expected to serve as a long reliever in the majors. Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias, who had struggled recently, are expected to remain in the rotation and start Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, against the Cubs.The Dodgers couldn’t officially bring up Thomas until about 10 minutes before Monday’s game because his flight from Oklahoma City to Chicago was delayed due to inclement weather.Ethier’s job safeCarl Crawford continues to make progress in his rehab from a strained oblique muscle, Mattingly said, but the manager offered no assurance that Crawford will be the Dodgers’ starting left fielder once he returns.“I haven’t thought about where (Crawford) fits in,” Mattingly said. “Andre’s kind of taken that spot.”Ethier, who was not in the starting lineup Monday against a left-handed starter, entered the week batting .275 with a .353 on-base percentage. His .487 slugging percentage was higher than any he’s posted in a full season since 2010.Crawford was the starting left fielder before he got hurt on April 27. The Dodgers used a platoon of Scott Van Slyke and Alex Guerrero in left field at first. When Yasiel Puig returned from the disabled list earlier this month, Ethier shifted from right field to left and has been the everyday starter since.“It’s not Carl’s fault he got hurt,” Mattingly said. “He had to work his way in. You never know who the odd man out is. … We may platoon a couple spots in the outfield.” CHICAGO >> At one point this year, it occurred to Dodgers pitcher Joel Peralta that he might never play again.“It still does,” he said, “considering my age.”For now the 39-year-old is counting his blessings. Monday’s game against the Chicago Cubs was Peralta’s first on the active roster since April 26. The compressed nerve in his neck that was affecting his right triceps hasn’t been an issue for weeks, and Peralta said he is close to 100 percent.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Iowa Bike Expo brings thoughts of spring and warm rides

first_imgDES MOINES — The forecast calls for plenty of snow to fly over the next few days, but thousands of Iowans will be thinking of sunny, summer days ahead as they attend one of the biggest one-day bicycling shows in the Midwest.The Iowa Bike Expo is Saturday in Des Moines. Organizer Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, says the free event is for everyone who’s into pedal power. “You’re going to see bikes, gear, destinations and events,” Wyatt says. “Really, people come there shopping for their summer. If you want to check out what the latest trail is, if you want to check out what the bike shops have as far as new gear to offer, this is the event for you.”If you’re shopping for a new bike, whether it’s a traditional two-wheel road bike, recumbent, tandem or electric, Wyatt says there will easily be hundreds of options. “There’s a bike demo area,” Wyatt says. “We’ve got four or five vendors who will let you take a bike over and give it a short ride, right in front of the events center on the floor, so that’ll be pretty cool.”There will be educational seminars to help riders get in touch with bike advocacy, a legal workshop, and new product launches at the event. While Iowa has hundreds of miles of paved trails, the expo features representatives from a host of “destination” bike rides in other states, including Minnesota and Kentucky.“There’s a lot of interest in the Iowa bicycling community,” Wyatt says. “Certainly, they see it as economic development that they can import to their states. We know that we’ve got to continue to develop that economic impact on bicycling here in Iowa.”The Iowa Bike Expo is free and runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.last_img read more