For most teams in baseball, sitting where the Los Angeles Dodgers are right now would be a thing of beauty and excitement. For most fans of the Dodgers, coming off their first series loss of the year, and to the San Diego Padres no less, it’s anything but fun.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, but it doesn’t feel that way. Many players are on the injured list, and other key players are not pulling their weight. The team to the south seems to be having more fun, wanting it more. Losing three of four to them feels like Doomsday, at least according to the Twitter timeline.
This weekend’s series did highlight some issues with the Boys in Blue. Sloppy defense, bullpen usage and execution, and injuries wreaking havoc on the lineup. Not being able to bring home runners in scoring position. All things we’ve talked about ad nauseam before. And a new one, not being able to hold runners on first without stealing.
Obviously, overall, I’m not worried about this team. When healthy, it has the best core group of players and starting rotation. They know what it takes to win and will get it together. Barring a lot of bad luck and more crazy injuries, Luke Raley, Sheldon Neuse, DJ Peters, and probably Edwin Rios won’t be in those positions in the playoffs. But still, Sunday night’s game was incredibly hard to watch. Implosions on national television are never fun.
As stated, the biggest issue facing the Dodgers at the moment is the amount of players on the Injured List, and who those players are.
Cody Bellinger is still on a slow recovery track from his shin injury. The team is waiting for the bone to heal. Belli has started taking batting practice, however. Zach McKinstry was placed on the IL on April 24, retroactively April 22, making it May until he will be able to return to the lineup. Who knew that McKinstry would be one of the players most missed from the lineup in such a short time.
This Padres series also claimed two pieces of the bullpen. Corey Knebel left the game Friday night with what was eventually diagnosed as a right lat strain. He is expected to miss many months to his injury. Then in Sunday night’s game, David Price left the game due to a hamstring injury. No update on Price as of this time.
One bit of good news in the injury department is that Gavin Lux is expected to be reinstated Monday. He had been on the IL with right wrist soreness.
Although it showed some signs of spark from the guys at the top of the lineup, the beleaguered offense and battered bullpen are now set to take on the Cincinnati Reds for a three game series at home. The Reds are 9-12, last place in the NL Central, and losers of their last seven games.
Pitching matchups will be Monday, Julio Urias and Tyler Mahle. The Reds right hander is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 31 strikeouts through 20.2 innings pitched, along with a 0.87 WHIP. Tuesday will see Walker Buehler and Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman is 2-1 with 2.66 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. And Wednesday’s matinee with see Clayton Kershaw and Sonny Gray. Gray has only pitched eight innings over two games so far this season, tallying a 7.88 ERA.
The Dodgers need to get some things right against a bad team, as after this series they will fly to Milwaukee to take on a four-game set against the Brewers. The starting rotation will have to take on the bulk of the work with the bullpen depleted as it is at the moment. The depth of the entire roster will be tested as the Dodgers do not have an off day until next Monday.
10 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes: Padres Series, Injury Updates, More”
Assuming that Lux is back tonight, the lineup should at least look fairly decent from top to bottom. What we had yesterday was not going to scare any pitching staff. If they got through the first four, the next five were nothing to worry about. It’s amazing that the lineup actually scored 7 runs.
The team is in one of those funks where if the starters and hitters are doing their job, the bullpen messes up. If the bullpen and starters are good the hitters don’t do anything, etc. I’m not sure that Mookie is completely recovered, or if he is, his back problem may have thrown off his hitting mechanics. I have no clue what’s going on with Seager. He sure doesn’t look like Corey to me. We need someone to step up, put the team on his shoulders, and create some excitement. Right now, they look like zombies.
This early in the year I am not sweating a series loss to any team. Especially with the guys who are in the starting lineup now. A all star CF, your top rookie and best bench player all out with injuries. Your bullpen taking a hit mid series with the loss of one of it’s most effective pieces and no real replacement available. 3 pitchers unable to pitch weakening your choices in an extra inning game, plus the fact you left more men on base than you had on base in 6 of the previous games makes for a recipe for disaster. Mookie and Seager battling slumps. Only Turner has been consistent. An umpire with a inconsistent strike zone. A call on Mookie in one of the late innings was totally absurd. Next time they meet, the Dodgers should be at full strength. The Pads are a very good team with some really unlikable players. But they took total advantage of what they got. Personally. I would have had Kersh try a bunt when he pinch hit. Infield was back. He is one of the more proficient bunter’s on the pitching staff, he had a better chance of making a great bunt than he did of getting a hit or a sac fly.
Birdich out in Colorado. Rockie fans dancing in the street
The question is how did Birdich last this long? Is the owner a complete idiot?
Monfort? He is an astute business man, and most likely Birdich was just following orders. He was boxed in by what happened with Arenado. He wanted out so they took what they thought was the best deal and angered the fan base by doing that. And now they have a terrible team and a star who is a couple of months away from leaving with little return which is why I think Story gets traded at the deadline.
They have eliminated part of their problem by getting rid of Bridich. The bigger part of their problem is the owner who won’t give them enough money to do things the right way. Until he goes it’s unlikely that they will compete on a regular basis and considering Monfort’s reputation, I’m not sure how easy it will be for him to hire anyone worthwhile.
I think our bullpen and or offense will eventually be ok. Our starters are terrific, but our defense isn’t. Teams are going to continue to run against us until we show we can stop them.
Machado said they “made a statement.” Nonsense. The Dodgers coughed up a hair ball in April. There’s a long way to go.
The Padres statement: “we can beat them when they cough up hair balls.”
They may not finish ahead of us this year, but we’ll know they were here. They have a very good club.
They do have a good club. And it would appear they are hungrier than we are. But, again, it’s still April. And next month we’ll be saying it’s still May.
Let’s face it, it is extremely rare to win back to back championships and though the money favors us if forced to choose, I think the field is a safer bet. A lot of things have to go right to win it all.
Is Peters still here? If so, somebody has to get through to him – lay off the high heat. Take the walk. You are not going to catch up to a Major League letter high fastball, that seems pretty damm clear at this point. You’ve seen nothing but and have not made contact with any of them. Maybe a shorter, lighter bat is in order. With his long arms he can reach the outside corner with a 33” stick. Try it.
So… no hitter or not no hitter?
Next month I’ll be saying it’s August, just to aggravate you.
OK, lots of player movement today. Here goes:
Price to IL with a grade 2 hammie – will be out “weeks”
Peters and Cleavinger optioned
Santana and Mitch White brought up
Raley and Rios starting tonight and Turner resting. Why? Because Turner is the only guy in the lineup who is hitting.