Dodgers Injury Notes: Joe Kelly, Gavin Lux, Corey Knebel, More

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Without question, injuries continue to hammer the heart of the Los Angeles Dodgers active roster. During most seasons, we’ll put together an injury report once or twice per month, but current times are calling for a thorough update almost weekly.

At the time of this publication, the Dodgers have seven players housed on the 10-day injured list and another two on the 60-day list in Tommy Kahnle and Caleb Ferguson, both of whom are likely to miss the entirety of the 2021 season. Four players on the 10-day IL are capable relief pitchers. For some teams, having four quality relievers on the shelf would almost decimate a whole pitching staff.

The Good News

Before we get to the bad news, some of the good news revolves around Chris Taylor feeling better after battling a minor bout of back stiffness. Listed as questionable in Saturday’s game, Taylor entered as a pinch hitter for center fielder DJ Peters in the sixth inning, promptly collecting the team’s first pinch hit of the year and later scoring on a Corey Seager single to right. All indications are that Taylor should play in the series finale on Sunday if he’s feeling well enough.

Infielder Gavin Lux, who has been sidelined with wrist soreness, took swings at the plate at the team’s alternate training site on Friday and Saturday. All signs are pointing to a Monday return for Lux against the Reds, the first day he is eligible back from the 10-day IL.

Although the team still has not revealed the primary cause of reliever Joe Kelly’s extended absence, manager Dave Roberts said on Saturday that Kelly has been working hard at the alternate site and is progressing with each passing day. Throwing out a ballpark timetable, Roberts said Kelly might be ready to return as soon as mid-May.

Cody Bellinger took batting practice this week, but he’s still not close to being able to run. The good news is that although there isn’t a clearly defined timetable for his return, it’s probably more a matter of weeks than months.

The Bad News

The worst news on the injury front broke on Saturday when reports revealed that reliever Corey Knebel would be missing an extended period of time with a right lat strain. Roberts has indicated that he hopes Knebel will “pitch for us again this year,” suggesting a move to the 60-day injured list for the 29-year-old righty could be inevitable. Knebel missed the entire 2019 season recovering from UCL surgery and spent time on the IL last year with a hamstring strain.

Righty swing man Tony Gonsolin has finally begun a throwing program at the alternate site, which seems to be chock-full of action these days. At this stage, Gonsolin is just long tossing, as he’s not yet ready to throw off a mound. There is still no timetable for his return.

Zach McKinstry, who was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday with an oblique strain, is expected to miss more than the 10-day minimum. The super-utility phenom has slashed .296/.328/.556 with three home runs in 58 plate appearances this year as one of the team’s top offensive contributors.

Finally, reliever Dennis Santana was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday after feeling side effects from a COVID-19 vaccination. The 25-year-old righty has tallied a not-so-impressive 7.71 ERA, a 5.03 FIP, and a 2.357 WHIP over 4-2/3 innings in five appearances this year.

Utility man Matt Beaty and lefty reliever Garrett Cleavinger were recalled on Saturday to fill the roster spots vacated by Knebel and Santana.

9 thoughts on “Dodgers Injury Notes: Joe Kelly, Gavin Lux, Corey Knebel, More

  1. Historic loss. And yet the Padres still trail us by 3 games.

    It would appear we have a few guys on this team that don’t belong.


      1. Dennis thats a bit dramatic I think.kahnie and ferguson have no place on this team. Lux is not anywhere a key part of this team and Kelly was always a mistake and has not really contributed in his time here. Knebel we don’t know.
        Santana was never slated for this roster and zacmac has 3 weeks on the roster, though he has looked good. Gonsolin and Bellinger for sure and probably Kelly. The rest of the guys just don’t fit. They are fillins and reclamation projects. Really Bellinger was a hit that hurt but there are a lot of teams that are actually struggling with injuries. We’re not one of them. We just rotate our minor leaguers. Always have


      2. Lux is a starter. Kahnle and Ferguson are rehabbing surgery so, yeah, they have no place on this team. Kelly was ok last year, but I’m no fan. Knebel was solid until his injury. He and Gonsolin are the pen pieces I think we miss most. We have 6 pitchers on the injury list. 7 if you count Morrow. Vesia and White next up? Uceta?


  2. When the boys get back this will be a different team. Injuries, the one thing you cannot plan for. I am hoping Morrow is healthy because I think that guy can be a difference maker in the pen. Not counting on Kelly. But he is going to have incentive to be good when he comes back. This is a contract year for him. There are still a lot of arms out there who did not sign. I would think AF might take a flyer on a guy like Swarzak who was just released.


    1. Agree about Morrow and Kelly. I also think if we hit we can overcome these pitching injuries. We had 16 Ks and really sucked with RISP last night. We can’t be that bad (3-17) and beat anybody, especially the better teams in this league.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Got that right, Been in Cali about a week. Took my nephew to Tustin Saturday to buy a truck. He got a 2020 Tacoma king cab. Really nice truck. Same color as mine with all the bells and whistles.


  3. Since we’re giving all these outfielders a shot, I think it’s time to let Reks have his turn. I happen to think he has a lot more chance to stick than Peters, although he’s old for a prospect (27).

    Beaty has traded striking out for getting hit by pitched balls and walking. A major upgrade, and it’s probably time to let him stay and once the minor league season starts let Rios go to OKC to work on his batting skills.

    The Reds have lost seven in a row. I hate to go into a series facing a team on a losing streak. What are the odds that they leave here having lost 10 in a row? Not great in my estimation. Also, I hope we don’t have a letdown after the SD series. It would have been nice to have an off day today to let the guys take a deep breath.

    Pads start a series against the D’backs tomorrow. They might also be due for a letdown and Az is playing fairly well right now. Giants play the Rox who tend to be streaky. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll run a few good games together against Farhan & Co.

    Cheer up folks. The vaunted Yankees are tied for last place with the Orioles. Things could be worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bumgarner’s 7 inning no no will not count as a no hitter. I think that is pure BS since it is MLB’s rule that in double headers 7 innings is a complete game. Rule needs to be changed.


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