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.