Dodgers Injury Notes: Kershaw, Seager, Martin & More

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As it stands now, injuries aren’t an overwhelming concern for the Dodgers as Opening Day approaches; however, there are three big players who could be at risk at missing the beginning of the season should they fail to make progress.

Probably the least of the worries right now is veteran catcher Russell Martin. The 36-year-old veteran has been experiencing bouts of back soreness after over exerting himself in the batting cage last week, but it isn’t believed to be overly serious. Originally, he was slated to return in Wednesday’s matchup against the Indians, but trainers have remained extra-cautious, saying Martin will probably appear over the coming weekend.

“It’s getting better,” manager Dave Roberts said of Martin’s back on Monday. “It’s just not at the point to get him out there. I’m not worried about him receiving. The at-bats, we can accrue at-bats. He hasn’t missed as much as you think.”

As far as players go on the 40-man roster, Rocky Gale has been seeing plenty of action lately. Regarding the youngsters, Will Smith seems to be progressing nicely and appears to be ahead of Keibert Ruiz on the depth chart, despite not yet being a member of the 40-man. The most viable option, though, may be Josh Thole. The 32-year-old journeyman has caught 439 big league games and was primarily acquired to serve as depth beyond Martin. Thole is not on the 40-man.

There still seems to be a bit of speculation swirling around shortstop Corey Seager. He was originally scheduled to make four or plate appearances on Monday, but those plans have been pushed back until later in the week.

Roberts downplayed the decision after he removed Seager from the lineup, noting that it was for “no reason other than that we have a B-game Thursday and that he was going to get some ABs in that game.”

Seager, who is recovering from hip and elbow surgeries, has not been cleared to play defense at this point. Nevertheless, most people close to the club still expect him to be ready for Opening Day.

The Dodgers have a plethora of depth at shortstop, including newly acquired journeyman Brad Miller, who we profiled over the weekend.

Staff ace Clayton Kershaw has been back and forth in his recovery from a problematic throwing shoulder. Indeed, Roberts admitted on Monday that the three-time Cy Young winner could be in jeopardy of missing his ninth consecutive Opening Day start. Yet, later in the day, Roberts acknowledged that Kersh was “pretty excited” about the way he felt after his workout.

“I didn’t see him throw, but I talked to him when he came off the field and he was pretty excited. He was a little bit more than encouraged. He was excited, so that was good thing for us,” Roberts explained.

“The No. 1 thing is for Clayton to be ready and confident mentally and physically.”

Phenom Walker Buehler, who was expected to be handled with care during the early part of the spring, threw his first bullpen session on Sunday. Roberts stated that he expects Buehler to be ready for the start of the season, despite the righty still not being scheduled for a Cactus League appearance.

Buehler told reporters on Monday that his arm feels great.

“I’m confident I’ll be ready to go,” Buehler said. “The way that I throw the ball, I feel that I can get going pretty quick, and once I get into games is all relative at some point. I felt good. The velocity is fine. I’m right where I need to be.”

 

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21 thoughts on “Dodgers Injury Notes: Kershaw, Seager, Martin & More

  1. Davis will be back after basketball…Opening day should not be his target. Getting healthy should be the task. They have more than enough quality pitching for opening day. Let Hill do it .

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    1. I would not have traded for Martin. Even though he was relatively cheap. I would have gone after say Maldonado because I love the guys arm and defense. And with a new hitting coach, maybe you could improve his bat some. No knock on Martin, but he is past his prime and not the defender he once was. 2 year deal for Maldonado would not block the kids. I would not worry about trying to trade for Kluber, I would have given Kuechel a 3 year deal like Hill got. He is a very good pitcher. And i know a lot of people would not agree with this, but I would have traded Joc and Muncy. I do not think there is any chance Muncy comes close to what he did last year, and with the improvement Joc made last year, he would bring a decent reliever back in trade easily. I would have even traded him and a bag of balls to get Abreu since he only has one year left on his contract. Then moving Belli to the outfield does not weaken the defense so much, and Freese is here to spell him and Turner.

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      1. I would have been OK with Maldonado but I’m not unhappy with Martin either. Kluber probably would have cost more than AF was willing to do, even when they were ready to trade him, so no argument there. Keuchel getting a Hill-like contract would be something like 3/50 which would have been unthinkable early on. Now he might be very lucky to get it. Muncy vs Abreu is where I disagree with you Bear. Abreu’s lifetime dWAR is negative and no better than Muncy’s was last year so he wouldn’t bring an improvement there. Even if Muncy regresses he might still wind up with a better offensive year than Abreu had last year. One last thing to consider. Muncy will earn about 0.5 mil, Abreau 16 mil. Let’s try to remember to look back at this in October. You could very well be proven correct, but it will be interesting to check.

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      2. It will all hinge on what kind of year Muncy has. To be honest I did not look very closely at Abreu’s defensive numbers. He is pretty bad. But his bat has thunder in it, they are bereft of legitimate RH power save Turner, he kills lefty’s and even though his salary would put them over the cap, it is not far enough over for a huge payout and it is for 1 year. He is a bigger target over there than Muncy is. But that’s not really a thing. I just think all of this is because the FO believes Muncy is going to repeat or come close to last years numbers, and I do not think that is going to happen. Also, the only time Bellinger has been injured in his Dodger career is when he was playing the outfield in Detroit. RF in Dodger Stadium with those low walls and the concrete around the base are dangerous, that’s how Toles was injured. To me, Bellinger in the long run is way more important to this team than Muncy ever will be and I play him where he does the best work.

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      3. Abreu’s bat used to have thunder in it. Last year started trending toward a drizzle and at his age the odds are that it may not get better. If we compare homers, OPS and OPS+ we find out that Kike had about the same number of homers last year in 20% fewer at bats with very similar OPS and OPS+. Our whipping boy Joc outperformed Abreu in all three of those categories. Could Abreu have a great comeback year while Muncy winds up in OKC by June? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t switch out Muncy for Abreu based on that possibility.

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      4. I get it. Abreu may not have been the best choice. But they are still LH power heavy. It is a moot point anyway since I would bet the next trade does not come unless it is needed in July.

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      5. Jefe, I am not always right and even when I am I do not gloat about it. It is just opinion after all since nothing we do or say is going to affect how ol Andy does business. They are after all, a winning franchise. They tied the Giants for most NL pennants with their win last year. That means something if you are a baseball history buff, they have also lost more World Series than any other franchise. 14. Thats a record I am pretty sure they wish was turned around

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      6. Hadn’t realized we’d lost more WS than any other franchise, although that makes sense I guess. I wonder how many franchises have even been in 14 WS. You gotta get there to lose ’em. With regard to Abreu, the reason we show up here everyday is because we don’t all have the same opinion and can go back and forth with each other while not being nasty about it. I hope that this year we can all gloat together about our World Championship.

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      7. Another little tidbit. Although they did not have the World Series per-se back in the day. They lost the league playoffs in 1889 and tied in 1890, but were considered the Champions. Something i read on ESPN a little while ago is very interesting. They are planning on having an Election Day for the all star game. MLB and the players association are working together to get things in place to extend the agreement that is in force now because the current trend in free agency and some other things are black clouds to reaching an accord down the road. The 3 batter limit for relief pitchers, a 26 man roster with a 13 pitcher limit also on there along with shelving the 20 second clock until after the 2022 season….

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      8. bear agree. Martin is a has been. I would have traded Joc WAY before Puig or Kemp, Joc seems to have that I don’t about him. Muncey has an I like playing Baseball thing about him( unlike Joc) I ordered my Grandal Brewers Jersey; o)

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  2. I could have gotten on board with Abrue. It will be interesting to see where Muncy settles into this year. Just so many questions and unknowns with Dodgers in 19. Do Taylor and Belly have bounce back years? Does Seager make it all the way back? Can Turner and Pollock stay healthy? Is Verdugo our next young star? Can our pitchers stay healthy? Lots of unknowns!

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  3. Homer Bailey pitched well yesterday. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if makes the Royals rotation? It would also make that trade even harder to defend.

    Looking at an “improvement” list and win projections (yeah I know what some think of projections but the so called experts look at them so I will too) Phillies are projected to win 86 and the Nationals 90. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we face the Phillies in the playoffs? The Phillies, Yankees, Reds, Braves, Brewers, Padres, Cardinals and Mets all improved. The Dodgers aren’t even on the list.

    Abreu? Really? Talk about a poor fielding first baseman. He would put us over the cap and what would we do with Freese?

    The Dodgers didn’t improve simply because they didn’t feel the need to improve. Hope they are right.

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  4. “So the Phillies went from fourth to second with the addition of Harper? “

    Perhaps you missed the announcements of their other pickups. Phillies got much better and something tells me they aren’t done.

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      1. I didn’t project anything for them. Earlier in the year Fangraphs had the Mets and Braves with 84 wins and the Phillies below them, in 4th place with 82 … I think. They are projected at 86 now, which would put them in playoff contention. If Fangraphs is right, the Phillies will have home field and play the Cardinals in the wild Card. The winner comes to LA.

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  5. The Giants, Dodgers and Yankees are the only teams with double digit series losses. The Giants have lost 12. The Cards and Yankees the only team in double digits in wins. The A’s have 9 and the Giants 8. Those are the only teams close to getting there at this point. Angels upset at Harper trying to recruit Trout to Philly.

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