Dodgers Injury Notes: Cody Bellinger, Zach McKinstry, Tony Gonsolin, More

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With the Dodgers now having dropped 14 of their last 18 games, many fans continue to point their fingers at injuries for being the primary culprit of the club’s current stretch of woes. All the depth the organization has been flaunting for years doesn’t seem to be helping in the least right now, as the team is looking for just a single win or two with hopes of building some type of momentum.

As it stands, there are currently 11 players listed on either the 10-day or 60-day injury list. Righty Dustin May is scheduled to undergo UCL surgery on Tuesday, meaning he’s likely to be transferred to the 60-day list soon, joining Corey Knebel, Caleb Ferguson, and Tommy Kahnle. More importantly, May’s move to the 60-day will open a spot on the organization’s 40-man roster.

As far as the players on the 10-day IL go, there’s really not much light at the end of the tunnel. Fans seem to be looking towards the returns of Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry as potential offensive boosts, but both players might still need a significant amount of time to recover.

For what it’s worth, it was reported on Friday that Bellinger has been running at 60 percent. The good news is that he’s hitting in the cage and throwing without any issues, but the bad news is that he’s unable to load up his leg with pressure. There’s still no timetable for his return.

It was also revealed on Friday that McKinstry was able to sneeze without feeling any pain. Whether that was a blast of sarcasm or sincerity, it is a true indication of where the super-utilityman stands in his recovery. Oblique injuries, depending on the degree of strain, can sometimes take several months to heal.

Edwin Rios was placed on the 10-day injury list earlier this week with inflammation in his right shoulder, perhaps in part explaining his recent struggles at the plate. The lefty slugger is hitless in his last 37 plate appearances and hasn’t recorded a hit since April 13.

“I think the shoulder was a big part of it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Wednesday. “He’s not an excuse maker, so he’ll never use it as an excuse. But I certainly believe that the shoulder affected his performance largely.”

On the pitching side of things, Scott Alexander, Tony Gonsolin, Brusdar Graterol, and David Price—all of whom at one point were presumed to be key pieces of the 2021 bullpen—are not exactly close to speedy returns.

After the injury to May, Gonsolin has changed course and is being built up as a starter. It’s been more than a month since he’s been on the injured list with shoulder problems, but the good news is that he was able to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session this week. Still, as a prospective starter, he’ll probably need to progress towards a comfortable 75-80 pitch session before he’s sent out on a rehab assignment.

Price’s hamstring has improved to the point that he’s able to throw off a mound, but the latest thoughts are that the veteran lefty is still more than a week away from returning to big league action.

The initial scans on Graterol’s right arm showed no structural damage after the hard-throwing righty was placed on the shelf on April 29 with right forearm tightness.

“I don’t know when he’ll pick up a baseball and play catch, but we just want to make sure the soreness dissipates,” Roberts said early in the week. “The findings —or lack thereof—are good news.”

On Thursday, lefty reliever Scott Alexander was sent to the injured list for issues with his pitching shoulder, opening the door for righty reliever Joe Kelly to join the team’s active roster.

In his first game back on Friday, Kelly was unable to survive a full inning after surrendering four earned runs on five hits. Kelly threw 28 pitches and recorded just two outs in the sixth inning before being replaced by Edwin Uceta.

Alexander’s placement on the IL is retroactive to May 3.

In other news, outfielder AJ Pollock left Friday night’s game in the sixth inning with a left hamstring strain and will be reevaluated Saturday to determine whether he needs time on the injured list.

11 thoughts on “Dodgers Injury Notes: Cody Bellinger, Zach McKinstry, Tony Gonsolin, More

  1. With Pollock’s hamstring injury last night, I’m wondering if we might see AF go shopping for an outfielder in the next few days. We don’t exactly have an overabundance of good outfielders to begin with and I’m assuming Pollock will go to the IL today. Maybe it’s time to see what’s out there on the market.

    Maybe we’d better not count on Bellinger’s returning any time soon. I remember Ethier’s leg injury in 2016 during spring training. Yes, it was a different bone and more serious, but no one realized he would miss almost the entire season when it happened. Let’s hope Belli doesn’t go through a similar situation.

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    1. Maybe we’ll see Reks make his MLB debut. I was thinking Souza since he’s a righty hitter, but he hasn’t even played in either of OKC’s first two games. I think they’ve determined that Peters doesn’t really have much to offer at the MLB level offensively.

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  2. It’s a shame Peters’s great work ethic and personality do not translate to being able to consistently hit the ball. As they may need an actual outfielder I wonder if they would pull Pages or one of the AAA or AA players that have shown contact skills and can defend. Dodgers defense overall has not been good.
    Lux was 1 for 4 and struck out twice. I think he needs to go to the alternate site for a reset.
    Great news that the Graterol diagnosis is nothing that needs an operation. Kelly needs some innings if he was this bad in rehab I doubt they would have brought him up. Uceta looks like he is finding his way.
    I continue to want them to bring up some of the highly valued Farm Guys. I think you learn a lot about where you are and need to be when you compete at the highest level. I think in the long run it would help the young guys’ progression.
    If everyone can make it back to the lineup this team obviously has the talent to make the playoffs. I would use this time to evaluate talent. Roberts critique last week on Gray I found interesting it seemed he should not be their top pitching prospect.

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    1. I think they feel that guys like Pages and Vogel are at least two or three years away (Vogel possibly even longer since he’s so young). They are highly unlikely to bring guys like that up for a look-see for a week or two because that means they lose a year of control over them, just by having them put on a Dodger uni for one day.

      The only guy we might still see is Reks and he probably fits into the Raley-Peters basket with regard to his longtime chances of success. That’s why I had mentioned that I wouldn’t be surprised to see AF go after an outfielder in trade at this point.

      As a matter of fact, considering what has happened to Rios, if the Cubs weren’t competitive at this point in their division (thanks to their series with us), I would have thought there might be a chance that Andrew would be interested in Bryant who could fill in at four positions and is having a great start to his season. Of course that great start is also making him more expensive, prospect wise, but you never know.

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      1. My bad I thought a Minor League player could play a certain amount of days without starting the clock…

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  3. Listen, it happens, some years are full of injuries, enjoy last year’s championship, they might not see another one in a year or 2… no body knows …. Sure when all healthy they have a great team,, but guess what? this year does not look like a good start . Can they come back? Maybe? and very possibly they will be plagued all year with this type of injury bug… contagious and usually will hamper a teams progress moving forward….Winning a world Series does not happen often and back to back world series? almost impossible in todays era… over paid players that under achieve by not staying on the field or not playing to their potential…What else is new in sports these days…. BTW, i bet against the Dodgers at winning it all again this year…..

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