Dodgers Injury Notes: Buehler, Turner, Kershaw, Maeda & More

Clayton Kershaw
(Mandatory Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)

As the players on the 25-man roster seemingly continue to drop like flies, the Dodgers are still finding ways to win baseball games. Thanks mainly to a red-hot offense, the team has won 16 of its last 21 games and are now one game above the .500 mark for the first time since April 23.

As it almost seems like there’s some kind of player transaction daily, the Los Angeles disabled list count is back into double-digits, and undoubtedly, the starting pitching crew has been dealt the most damage. Walker Buehler has provided the most recent scare to the team, as he exited Friday night’s game early resulting from soreness in his ribs. Apparently, the young righty has been dealing with the pain for some time, as the origin of the injury has been traced back to him being hit with a comebacker against the Rockies on May 21.

“There was always something there, but he felt he could make his starts, which he has,” manager Dave Roberts said after the game. “He said he had a little trouble breathing, and he was in pain. To his credit, he’s as tough as they come. He wanted to stay in there.”

Buehler was scheduled to have tests administered in his rib area upon his departure from the game, and we’ll be sure to report any additional status updates as it’s revealed by the team.

As reported by Ken Gurnick at MLB.com, third baseman Justin Turner missed another start Friday with continued pain in his previously broken left wrist, which Roberts explained is Turner’s “new normal.” According to Roberts, Turner’s usage will need to be managed, perhaps for months. Roberts also said Turner would probably start on Sunday and might even appear in the lineup on Saturday.

“With J.T., it’s one of those things where we’ve got to get to a point where if he does play and there is some discomfort, for it to sort of maintain that sort of comfort level and not to dip down a couple notches,” said Roberts. “So in Colorado, it trended down. Thought we had it after the off-day. Giving him Thursday, Friday and we’ll evaluate Saturday. So it’s not a definitive no for Saturday. I see him playing on Sunday.”

Although there’s still no firm timetable for a potential return, staff ace Clayton Kershaw is progressing nicely in his recovery from a lower back strain. He played catch before Friday’s opener against the Braves, and he reportedly was very aggressive throwing the ball.

“Clayton is doing well,” Roberts said. “He played catch today, moving around really well and has no symptoms, and so I’m not sure when his next ‘pen [session] is, but where he’s at right now, really moving in the right direction.”

Gurnick also reported that righty starter Kenta Maeda could return as soon as next week. His throwing sessions have been going well, and his bullpen on Friday was the most impressive since his hip injury.

“Kenta’s ‘pen today, very aggressive, higher intensity, threw the ball well,” said Roberts. “Probably close to 40 pitches. Executed all of his pitches. So to see him available to make a start for us here sometime next week seems more possible, which is encouraging for all of us.”

In addition,  veteran southpaw Rich Hill is scheduled to throw a four-inning simulated game on Saturday to further test his left-middle finger, which he said has responded nicely to recent laser treatments. Hill has been receiving up to nine treatments daily and will throw with the finger uncovered in Saturday’s sim game.

In other news, rookie pitcher Dennis Santana‘s MRI revealed a right rotator cuff strain, which forced his being scratched from Thursday’s start against the Pirates minutes before game time. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list before Friday’s contest with his right arm having been placed in a sling. There has been no indication of an estimated timetable for his return.

Like Santana, reliever Tony Cingrani, who went on the disabled list on Thursday, also has a rotator cuff strain, but according to Gurnick, Roberts said he’s confident Cingrani will need only the minimum 10 days on the DL before returning.

Depending on the severity of Buehler’s injury, more reinforcements may be called in at some point during the weekend, especially if Buehler is placed on the disabled list. From the sound of things, Maeda may be the first to return back to the rotation and it couldn’t come at a better time. While Roberts hinted earlier in the week that the team was considering using Hill in the big league bullpen as part of his rehabilitation, the team may find it necessary to move him directly into the rotation, depending on how his sim game pans out on Saturday.

Furthermore, it was reported on Friday that 27-year-old righty pitcher Daniel Corcino was seen in the Dodgers clubhouse and is part of the taxi squad for the series against Atlanta. In 14 appearances at Triple-A Oklahoma City this year—six of which were starts—Corcino has posted a 3-1 record with a 2.22 ERA and 43 punchouts over 44-2/3 innings of work. Corcino’s most recent big league stint was with the Reds in 2014 when he made five appearances, registering a 4.34 ERA with 15 strikeouts over 18-2/3 innings.

 

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8 thoughts on “Dodgers Injury Notes: Buehler, Turner, Kershaw, Maeda & More

  1. So it really turned out to be a rotator cuff strain for Santana and NOT a lat muscle tear as previously reported??? If so, that kid caught a huge break as well as this Dodger ballclub for once. Lat tears are usually season-ending because of the traditionally long and tedious recovery process involved. Praying that’s all it is. Either way, won’t be seeing him and Cingrani until late-July at the earliest. However, they could return even sooner if the training staff opts to go the stem cell treatment route (if they haven’t done so already) to address those rotator cuff issues as surgery hardly ever works in that sense and usually does more harm than good to the athlete in the long run based on past experience.

    Good to hear Maeda possibly making his return to the rotation next week. Admire Buehler for being able to pitch through that much pain that comebacker to his ribs cause a few weeks back, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him sent on the 10-Day DL just so his body has time to heal that trouble spot up some more. Perhaps the training staff should consider using sound therapy to hasten the healing process as I’ve read up that certain frequencies targeted at the troubled area have shown to promote rapid healing in many instances. Wouldn’t hurt for them to check that out in the meantime.

    Crossing my fingers that those laser treatments keep Hill from being a non-option for the rest of the season (if not his baseball career). We all know what he’s truly capable of on that mound when those blisters are kept in check. Wish I could say the same for Kershaw, but at this point it’s looking more and more like he needs to get a reality check and shut it down for the season so he can get that long-overdue surgery…especially if his velocity continues to back up the way it has the last few years during his current rehab.

    As for Turner, Dodgers can just use him off the bench as a pinch-hit/late-inning 3B glove option until his wrist finally regains full strength in the next couple months. Besides, there’s NO way in hell Muncy’s sitting out of that lineup with the way he’s come into his own this season. Let him man the hot corner for the first 6-7 innings on a regular basis with Turner coming in to shore it up defensively the rest of the way. Guy’s currently on pace to hit 25+ HRs in just over 100 games played, my goodness…

    As always, good stuff Dennis!

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    1. With the team hitting like this, it’s easy to say that we just use JT for pinch hit/late innings for the next few weeks, but I don’t think the team will continue to hit at this pace. Hopefully JT can play through some of the pain and at least give us 3-4 starts a week and do it without making his wrist worse. Muncy deserves to play 4-5 times a week as well, so if that means moving Cody to the outfield for a while I’m ok with that but I would sure like to see what Muncy could give us at second base for a few games. I’m guessing that management isn’t real comfortable with his fielding at that position or we would have already seen him there.
      Another reliever to keep on the radar (at least for future seasons) – Marshall Kasowski, 23 yrs old, drafted in the 13th round last year and pitching at Rancho Cucamonga. I hadn’t been paying much attention to him, but Eric Stephen points out that he has 57 k’s in 32 innings this season. Also has 19 walks, so he needs to work on that, but definitely someone to keep an eye on.

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      1. Meh, I wouldn’t push my luck with Turner at this point in the season if I were the Dodgers. You tend to forget the Dodgers have more than enough depth to cover several position spots on the parent club when needed. Might even see Hernandez spend some time over at the hot corner while Turner continues to recovery from that broken wrist. And yeah, really want to see how Muncy handles himself at 2B because if Daniel Murphy can play that position and stick there long-term then what’s stopping him from doing the same as well? At least he doesn’t have a noodle arm like Utley and Forsythe have shown so far this season (lol).

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      2. Can’t argue with either of you about JT. I guess my feeling is if he’s well enough to stay on the 25-man play him a few times a week. If the results don’t measure up or if he’s in too much pain to play much, put him back on the DL. I wonder what they plan to do in the next week or two once Toles is back to normal? Kemp, Joc, Puig and Cody (the outfielder) are all hitting well right now but it would sure be nice to have Toles’ bat here. All the more reason for letting Muncy play a few games at second to see what we have. Good point by Manuel on Murphy. Muncy isn’t quite the hitter that Murphy is but he’s been hitting a hell of a lot better the Utley/Forsythe. Have Puig, Kemp, Joc, Toles rotate starts in the outfield, move Cody back to first, Muncy to second and let Kike have a few starts a week moving between, outfield, third, short and starting pitcher. There………………….I’ve solved everything.

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      3. I believe it but Kike’s OPS is 100 points higher, he has twice as many RBI and 7 times as many homers. And he can play 7 positions vs 2. That makes up for Forsythe hitting .208 to Kike’s .203. And Forsythe makes 5.5 times as much $ as Kike. So, if we’re voting, I’m taking Kike and I know you would too Dennis, even though Logan is hitting 5 points higher. Geez, there I go hating on Forsythe again. I really don’t dislike him (I sincerely apologize Logan, if you’re reading this), I just feel Muncy is by far the better option right now. And if Muncy turns out to have a glove of stone, I would still prefer Kike to Forsythe.

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  2. This team will hit, but it will be in streaks. It’s a deliberately assembled all or nothing group. When it is working it’s fun to watch. When it isn’t we get 3 or less.

    The most visible problem I see is how to get 27 outs with this staff. I read an article by Petriello dated 2015 that spoke to the new approach to this issue. 2 times through the lineup for starters no matter the pitch count. I think we are there. This group of pitchers is as fragile a collective as I can recall in Los Angeles. Maybe 3 inning starts, 50 pitches, is what will keep the starters all pitching until November. Relievers will be a revolving door from AA up. We’ve already used 25 pitchers this year and may use 30 before the summer is over.

    Friedman appears to like pitchers who can be had on the cheap due to health concerns. There are some cautions that must come with that approach. It’s a house of cards. Play those cards judiciously.

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