Although many hoped the 2021 All-Star break would be the turning point the Los Angeles Dodgers needed for players to get healthy, there really haven’t been many significant changes on the injury front.
Right now, there are four players sitting on the 10-day injured list and another six on the 60-day injured list. Trevor Bauer remains on administrative leave with no immediate resolution in sight.
On Saturday night, the Dodgers gained a full game on the first-place Giants, thanks in part to a huge offensive burst from slugger Max Muncy and a 4-for-4 effort by Mookie Betts. The bad news was that Betts was pulled from the game in the seventh inning immediately after hitting his third double of the night.
Skipper Dave Roberts said in the postgame the injury is something Betts has been dealing with all year, adding he’ll likely keep his superstar out of Sunday’s lineup with hopes of using him in the opener against the Giants on Monday.
“I’m good,” Betts told reporters. “I’ve been dealing with it. I think I just made it a little more bad today than usual. But I’m fine.”
Initially, staff ace Clayton Kershaw hoped his time on the injured list with forearm inflammation would be minimal, but all signs are now pointing towards a return sometime in August.
At the beginning of the weekend, the lefty was shut down completely from all baseball activities and doesn’t plan on resuming any throwing until sometime next week. Once he’s able to throw, it could take another few weeks to build him back up.
“I think this is something that once it kind of came about, it made sense to kind of take the time to cut some of the season off and save some bullets for the rest of the season and throughout the postseason,” Roberts said. “We feel good about it. I’m not sure exactly when he’s going to start playing catch again, but I feel good about the process.”
Having been on the shelf since mid-May with a broken hand, Corey Seager is finally making some legitimate progress towards rejoining the team.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Seager had seven plate appearances on Saturday in an Arizona League game, landing a home run in the process. Originally, the team hoped Seager could possibly return for the San Francisco series on July 19. However, the current plan is for him to play in another sim game Monday, then undergo another evaluation.
“Once we finish [the Colorado series], we’ll re-assess, see where he’s at physically and make a decision then,” Roberts said. “Right now, there’s no thought of a rehab assignment.”
The Los Angeles Bullpen
There’s talk Jimmy Nelson might be ready to return early next week.
Nelson hasn’t pitched since July 6, but he has been playing catch and seems to be feeling better after a lumbar strain sent him to the injured list. The 32-year-old righty has emerged as one of the Dodgers’ most consistent and effective bullpen arms this season, as he has registered a 2.00 ERA, 0.926 WHIP and 13.7 K/9 across an even 27 innings.
Victor Gonzalez appears to be nearing a return after being put on the IL July 6 because of a bout of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. In his first rehab appearance on Friday for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, the 25-year-old lefty reliever was perfect, striking out two batters on 13 pitches.
As it stands, there’s a chance Gonzalez joins the team when it returns home after Sunday’s finale in Colorado.
The Los Angeles bullpen might be bolstered even more in late August with the potential return of Corey Knebel. At one point, pundits thought Knebel might be finished for the season with his lat strain, but the 29-year-old right hander is scheduled to throw around 20 pitches in a simulated game on Monday.
Gavin Lux (Update)
Gavin Lux left Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the Rockies with what seemed to be an apparent hamstring injury. Lux immediately grabbed his left hamstring area while running out a grounder in the ninth inning. He was replaced at shortstop in the bottom half of the frame by Chris Taylor, who shifted over from second base.
Stay tuned for more updates.