Dodgers Injury Notes: Will Smith, Alex Wood, Joe Kelly and More

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(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

While there hasn’t been an overwhelming number of injuries so far for the Dodgers during this shortened season, the few that we have seen have definitely had significant impacts on the landscape of the roster.

Staff ace Clayton Kershaw’s opening day back stiffness opened the door for Dustin May to join the rotation, and the young righty hasn’t looked back since. Of course, there’s plenty for May to improve upon moving forward, but his performances over his five starts this year certainly have been serviceable in terms of major league standards. At this stage of the season, it looks like that May is in the big league rotation to stay. Alongside the Kershaw we used to know from years past—in addition to a re-emerging Walker Buehler—the Los Angeles rotation theoretically might be peaking at the perfect time.

The same can be said for the neck soreness of Will Smith. The long-awaited debut of 22-year-old backstop Keibert Ruiz resulted from Smith’s absence, which allowed fans to view on their televisions a historic long ball off the bat of Ruiz in his very first big-league AB.

Nevertheless, the injury picture is improving for the Dodgers, specifically the health of Smith. It has been reported that Smith might be returning to the starting lineup as soon as Sunday, as he was working out without restraints at the alternative training site on Friday. Should he show no ill effects through Saturday, he’ll probably get the green light to return to the major league roster.

Alex Wood may also be close to returning to the club as well, which could conceivably create a logjam in the starting rotation, unless the team decides to shift him back to the bullpen. Wood is scheduled to throw another simulated game on Monday, which happens to be an off day for the team. He came out of Tuesday’s three-inning sim game looking good, and if all goes well early next week, he might be activated soon thereafter.

While there hasn’t been much news surrounding the health of Joe Kelly’s shoulder, the right-handed reliever has gotten plenty of publicity from his altercation with the Astros, as several players around the league have been very vocal in supporting him, particularly expressing their disdain behind the unfairness of his suspension.

Either way, once Kelly is cleared to return, he’ll need to serve a five-game suspension for his actions, which was reduced from a ridiculous eight-game shelving.

On Thursday, Pedro Baez was sent to the injured list with a strained right groin, giving righty Reliever Josh Sborz the opportunity to join the big league squad. Baez’s injury could have something to do with his recent struggles, as he’s allowed four runs over his past three innings while experiencing a noticeable dip in velocity.

Utility man Edwin Rios continues to improve from a strained hamstring and may be activated on Thursday, the first day he’s eligible to return from the injured list.

10 thoughts on “Dodgers Injury Notes: Will Smith, Alex Wood, Joe Kelly and More

  1. Wood hates the bullpen. I doubt he goes back to it. Also he has never been effective as a reliever. Urias, who to me is too erratic to have a spot in the rotation has historically been better out of the pen. His ERA is more than a run lower. And if Strip continues to struggle he is a good candidate to go back also. I still think they need to trade for another starter and Bauer because he is a one month rental, and would cost the least makes the most sense.

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    1. Bauer is having a truly spectacular year and the Reds are still in the playoff picture, so I doubt they would trade him except if they got someone or multiple players back who could help them this year plus future years. What are you offering, Bear?
      I’m really not a fan of inserting Wood back into the rotation. I think we’d do him a favor if we could find a trade partner next week and ship him somewhere that needs a starter. I would say the Angels but they are playing so badly, I’m doubtful they even make the playoffs. There are, however, teams who could use another starter right now.

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      1. In 7 days that can all change. I do not think anyone is going to pay a high price for a one month rental, so in that sense the Reds can either deal him or lose him for nothing. Me, I would let them have say Estevez and Kendall. Maybe a lower tier player too, but that is about it. Someone said they should target JD Martinez, but I think they would not want to take on that contract unless they were sure the NL is going to keep the DH after this season.

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      2. It’s one month PLUS the playoffs and I definitely think someone would make a better offer than Estevez, Kendall and a lower tier player. The way everything is set up this year almost any team who participates in the post season could win it all with a good streak at just the right time. That’s why I’m pretty sure that the Reds will get themselves a good offer or just keep him. By good offer I don’t mean Lux and Ruiz and May, but it would have to be a lot better than those other three.
        I agree that an NL team would have to be sure of the DH staying to go after JDM, but even if they knew it was sticking around he’s having an off year and he has two years and about 40 mil left on his contract. I really like him as a player but I’m saying no thanks.

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      3. No it is not. They cannot possibly base his worth on that because the playoffs are a crapshoot. The Reds will deal if they go say 2-5 their next 7 games, which takes us to the 29th. It all hinges on whether they are in it or not. If they decide to trade him, they are going to take the best offer they can get. Otherwise they get bupkis. The Phillies have already traded for 3 relievers. Guys like Lynn are a different proposition. Thus year is an anomaly. They if they decide to deal they are not going to be able to be too choosey.

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      4. Not sure I’m understanding your “No it is not”. Are you saying the playoffs have nothing to do with his value? To me that’s the only reason to get him. We’re going to be in the playoffs with or without him but we may be short on experience for the post season and Bauer has that and he’s having an excellent year. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant. In any case, speaking as a Wise Shlemming, I absolutely think that if they trade Bauer they will do substantially better than the three guys you mentioned. Of course, I don’t think Kendall is worth anything to begin with so that might be coloring my response.

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      5. I am saying that he is still only a one month rental. You are probably right about Kendall but I do not think any team is going to pony up very much for any players this deadline.

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      6. We’ll know more next week but I think we might be surprised. Maybe no huge trades but I think there may be some interesting ones, not necessarily involving us though. No clue what AF might or might not do.

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      7. I think Ol Andy is pretty happy with that he has, and he has to be pleased with Bellingers improvement the last week. There have been some suggestions that they need some one more consistent in the lineup than Muncy. He did get a hit to left tonight, and MLB.com is thinking they might target Shoop to be the full time second baseman. Not sure Ol Andy thinks so. If anyone deserves a full time shot at second it is Taylor. Phillies have made 3 deals already.

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