LOS ANGELES (AP) Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy is schedule to make his season debut Sunday when he starts against the Colorado Rockies, helping out a Los Angeles pitching staff riddled by injuries.
McCarthy last pitched in a major league game on April 25, 2015 - his fourth start with the Dodgers - before having surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow five days later.
His recovery from Tommy John surgery culminated with four minor league rehab starts. On Monday night, he threw five innings for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, allowing four runs on seven hits.
''This is right where I want to be,'' McCarthy said Saturday. ''I was the one who said `let's go.' I felt I'd gotten to a place with my stuff feeling-wise that I felt confident about being here and if there was a need for me, let's put me in, and they decided to go for it.''
McCarthy was 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA in four rehab starts - three with Rancho Cucamonga and one with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
''I need big league hitters to tell me what I'm throwing right now and what I'm doing,'' he said.
''You need Nolan Arenado to let you know like, `Hey, your sinker (stinks) right now.' Or, `No, your stuff is where it is right now.' It feels hard to say that, but I realize it's good enough to compete, but I need to find out what I need to refine, what needs to be tinkered with.''
The Dodgers have had 19 players, including six starting pitchers, on the disabled list, the most of any team in the majors, according to STATS LLC. They even put ace Clayton Kershaw on the DL earlier this week and traded for right-hander Bud Norris to plug the hole in their rotation.
''I don't want to be anything different than just another start,'' McCarthy said. ''I'm trying not to put any mental importance on it, just like every other step of the program. Once I start focusing on anything more than getting Rockies out, it's going to be too much.''
McCarthy signed a $48 million, four-year free agent deal with Los Angeles prior to the 2015 season.