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.