LOS ANGELES -- It went from bad to worse for knuckleballer Charlie Haeger on Friday, when he was designated for assignment one night after being removed from a start an out shy of qualifying for his first victory of the year.
Haeger's removal in the fifth inning in Anaheim with a four-run lead triggered the use of six relievers and, with the potent Yankees in town, the Dodgers recalled the fresh arm of reliever Jon Link to replace Haeger. This is already Link's fourth callup this season, during which he's appeared in four games.
The Dodgers have 10 days to trade Haeger, release him, or if he clears waivers, outright him back to the Minor Leagues.
"It's just frustrating. The whole season has been frustrating," said the 26-year-old Haeger, who opened the season as the fifth starter and is 0-4 with an 8.40 ERA. "To not throw well, to be on the DL, the throw twice in nearly two months. Last night I think I was one out away from having a decent game. It's frustrating."
The first of his six starts was a 12-strikeout no-decision in Florida. But he later battled control problems, was put on the disabled list twice with foot injuries and conceded he struggled with his confidence. His Thursday night start in Anaheim was his first since he failed to retire a batter on May 8 against Colorado.
He was asked if he had a fair shot.
"Early in the season I did," he said. "I had five starts. But I feel like, coming off the DL, throwing twice in the span of two months, I don't know how fair that is. I had an opportunity early in the season to throw the ball well and didn't. But it was a good experience here. It's been a rough season, but I fell like last night I threw the ball pretty well and feel like it's back, I found it again. Obviously, I'm disappointed. I want to be here."