We say it all the time, but considering how badly the injury bug has bitten the Dodgers so far this season, it’s tough to comprehend how they’re hanging right at the top of the National League West just days before the 2018 All-Star break.
The latest blow came to right fielder Yasiel Puig when he aggravated his oblique during a fifth-inning plate appearance against the Angels on Sunday. The official diagnosis was a strain, and early guesstimates on a return are hovering around the “several week” range.
“It’s going to be a few weeks,” skipper Dave Roberts said before the series opener at San Diego on Monday. “With the time we have left in the season, we have to be very careful. Otherwise it can come back to bite you at an important time. So we are going to be patient.”
Taking Puig’s spot on the active roster is Andrew Toles, who was hitting .324 for Triple-A Oklahoma City when he was recalled. In Monday’s game at San Diego, Tolesy got the starting nod in center field and promptly went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and two RBI. And the beautiful thing is that he can handle all three outfield spots with ease, providing the club with an extra dose of versatility when needed.
But while some fans are excited by the return of Toles, the bullpen has caused plenty of concern among many followers of the team. As it stands now, three players who were members of the Opening Day relief corps—Pedro Baez, Josh Fields and Tony Cingrani—are still on the 10-day disabled list with varying degrees of injuries.
Cingrani, who has been on the DL for more than a month with rotator cuff problems, is progressing; however, he’s still at the spring training facility at Camelback Ranch rehabbing. Baez and Fields are also on throwing programs in Arizona and may actually make appearances soon for the Arizona League Dodgers in the rookie summer league.
To make matters worse, right-handed reliever Yimi Garcia was placed on the 10-day disabled list last Saturday with right forearm inflammation. Garcia had been dealing with the issue for more than a week and went through tests prior to Saturday’s game against the Angels, prompting the move to the disabled list. The severity of the injury remains unclear, but the 27-year-old may be sidelined for most of July.
With all these relievers on the shelf, there seemingly has been a bigger push for the front office group to pursue one or more relief additions before the non-waiver trade deadline passes at the end of the month. Currently, Pat Venditte, Dylan Floro and JT Chargois are filling in the gaps in the big league bullpen.
In a bit of good news, righty Walker Buehler reported having no complications after throwing a five-inning simulated game on Sunday. Roberts said Buehler will start one of next weekend’s games against the Angels at Dodger Stadium.
“I thought he threw the ball really well,” Roberts explained. “He pitched well in Rancho, efficient. Today, facing big league hitters, built him up. The stuff was sharp. I think I heard he touched 97, so the velo was good. He’ll throw a ‘pen Wednesday and then we’ve got to figure out where we pencil him in. He will start before the All-Star break.”
Buehlers return, coupled with Kenta Maeda‘s reinstatement from the paternity list, could afford the Dodgers the luxury of using a six-man rotation through the All-Star break, providing the starting crew a bit of relief during the hot, demanding summer months.
Additionally, southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu could make it to Camelback in time to throw alongside Cingrani, Fields and Baez. Ryu has been sidelined since May 3 with a sever left-groin strain.
Julio Urias has been throwing monitored bullpens as well, as his latest came on July 4 when his fastball was clocked as high as 91 MPH. It’s certainly a good sign that its velocity continues to climb, although he’s still nowhere near his former self. Reportedly, the 21-year-old lefty could be making rehab appearances in late July, conceivably putting an August return within reach.
There have been no updates regarding righty swing man Tom Koehler, who was shut down in the middle of June after experiencing complications in his throwing program.
At the moment, the Dodgers have 11 players listed on the big league squad’s disabled list.
19 thoughts on “Dodgers Injury Notes: Puig, Buehler, Urías, Cingrani & More”
I’m anxious to have Cingrani back again as soon as he’s physically OK. I could live without Baez and I have very mixed feelings about Fields, although more positive than negative. Yimi probably won’t really be back to his real self until next year but still might help later in the year. Floro looked really good in his Dodger debut but I don’t think any of us think this will continue indefinitely. It would be nice if he turned into a right-handed Alexander and could be consistent about it. As you mentioned, most of the DL guys are making decent progress to the point that if we trade for an established 8th inning reliever, we could have a truly outstanding pitching staff for the playoffs. Kershaw, Buehler, Stripling, Hill as starters. Bullpen consisting of Kenley, new 8th inning guy, Maeda, Wood, Alexander, Cingrani, and one or two of Ferguson/Floro/Hudson/Fields/Goeddel/Urias (whomever is most effective going into October). If Ryu somehow makes it back at near the level he was when he got hurt, Hill is another bullpen option. If we trade for two strong relievers, we’re all that much stronger. Once we see what prospects we’ve lost on new bullpen guys, we need to find a second baseman to replace Forsythe and we’re good to go. With Muncy, Bellinger and Kike comfortable in multiple positions, Roberts can rotate guys in and out and try to give everyone a couple of days rest per week, keeping them fresher for October.
Personally, I’m very curious to know just how much Friedman REALLY wants Machado.
Here’s my guess. Not enough to actually get him.
According to Ken Rosenthal earlier today, apparently he doesn’t want him badly enough to give them Lux and May. Not sure if that really means he wouldn’t or that he’s planning to trade one or both in other deals he finds more urgent. Any of you guys willing to trade Lux and May for 2.5 months of Manny?
Considering how many prospects become even mediocre players in the big leagues, I’d probably pull the trigger. But that’s just me.
He’ll take him if he can get him at the right price, kind of like he did last year with Darvish.
I’m not sure whats fair any more, but lux and may is a cheaper deal than verdugo and Alvarez. What do you think about the Gennett rumor that popped up yesterday? He has another year of control, that would be a nice compromise
At this point, anyone standing in the batter’s box instead of Forsythe would be a vast improvement. Any of the guys who have been mentioned (Scooter, Dozier, Cabrera, Harrison) would probably be a slight step down in defense but a huge improvement in offense. Hah! As I’m writing this, Forsythe doubles.
Correction: umps changed the call to a foul ball and poor Logan strikes out on the next pitch. He really needs a change of scenery…………………..and so do we.
If management really wanted to, they could just simply DFA him. I can’t see any other clubs around the league being interested, especially when considering the amount of money he’s owed for the remainder of the season.
Only problem is if they dfa him his salary counts. They’ll probably have to wind up offering a little better prospect package to someone in a deal and encourage them to take him. Of course it all depends on who they might trade for and how many guys are added. I guess they might still be able to stay under the limit, but it won’t be easy.
Very few prospects are worth also taking on $4.5 million in second-half salary.
Most of the sellers are looking to dump salary. And the buyers probably despise his production on offense.
Very true. Let’s see how creative Andrew and the boys can get.
Dodgers are not gonna miss Puig anytime soon as long as Toles STAYS in that lineup (couldn’t believe Roberts sat him out tonight against that lefty Lauer, Toles can handle lefties just fine and he’s still the team’s main sparkplug for that offense as well). As far as the bullpen goes, the only arms I’d like to see coming back from their rehab stints are Cingrani and Fields. The rest of the lot I don’t really care much for. Baez should just stay in AAA when he comes off the DL or get thrown into the next trade package. Garcia I’ve had enough of now that the front office brought Floro (throws like a right-handed Scott Alexander from what I saw of him in that road series against the Halos the other day) back into their system. Can’t wait to see Buehler return to the rotation later this week because that’s where he truly belongs along with Stripling and if Ryu comes back healthy in the 2nd half then the first one to get sent down to the pen to make room for him should be none other than Wood for obvious reasons. Dodgers should probably give it up with Koehler because he’s had shoulder troubles his entire career and I don’t see that going away, whatsoever. Their 8th-inning guy is definitely gonna come via trade this time so they better not miss on this one. In the meantime, let Urias take as much time as he needs to get himself back to form. No rush on that end…
You know how I like to argue with you Manuel, but I can’t find anything here to argue about. Completely agree that Toles is the sparkplug they need. It’s a role that Taylor kind of filled on a regular basis last year, but this year he seems prone to strike out binges in between his periods of solid hitting so having Toles in there also is a big help. When I look at our lineup against right handers, I’m confident we stand a very good chance of winning the game, especially now that Grandal is in a hot streak for the time being (pauses for Manuel to insert comment about Realmuto 🙂 ). Every position in the order looks strong. On the other hand, when I look at the lineup against southpaws and see Forsythe, Barnes, pitcher, making up one-third of it I’m not surprised when we lose. A trade for a good right-handed hitting second baseman would certainly make a difference, assuming we don’t get Machado and move Taylor to second.
Jeff, a right-handed hitting 2B they do not need when they already have Muncy doing well enough at that position. He hits lefties better than righties anyway so the Dodgers don’t have to worry about platooning him:::giggle:::and yeah, you can’t mention Grandal around here without me countering with Realmuto every damn time! THAT’S the bat they need to fill the remaining void still left in that lineup, mark my words. But that’s not the primary reason why they need to go after him hard at the deadline instead of Machado. He might very well be the best young all-around C in MLB right now and most folks are not even aware of it. I swear, if the Dodgers manage to yank Realmuto out of Miami they will have no more glaring holes in that lineup or out in the field for at least the remainder of his cost-controlled years. Front office would only need to concern themselves with keeping the pitching staff strong and deep after that…
Manuel, as I was writing that comment about a right handed hitting second baseman I was thinking about Muncy. I could be totally mistaken but my feeling is that they just don’t want to make him their permanent answer at second base. Maybe they’ll decide to live with it for the rest of this year but I’m betting that we have someone else at that position for 2019. And yes, the lineup would definitely look better if Realmuto was a part of it but it sounds as though the Marlins would start off by asking for Buehler and Verdugo and Ruiz and keep going from there. I’m not prepared to trade Buehler for anyone at this point. Verdugo OK, Ruiz obviously would be expendable in a trade for Realmuto, but I guess we just disagree on where to spend our prospects. The Nats are desperate for a catcher at this point yet they haven’t gotten very far with the Marlins. That just shows you what they must be asking for.
I think the marlins are trying to make up for all the money dump trades, they made in the off season,by trying to get a kings ransom for realmutto. He wanted out, but they still didn’t move him, tells me that no one would meet their price. I’m not arguing the pros, or cons, but it’s going to be costly.