As the troubles of the 2021 Los Angeles Dodgers continue in extra-inning contests, so do their woes in the injury department.
By now, you would have thought fans might have learned their lessons, but there still seems to linger a ray of hope of how the team might perform when fully healthy. However, as we inch closer to the stretch run of the regular season, the idea that the club might never reach peak health is quickly becoming a reality.
Kershaw has been stagnant since a three-inning simulated game on July 7, and there’s no guesstimate on when he’ll begin throwing again. Skipper Dave Roberts told reporters on Friday that a September return seems to be realistic.
Kersh told the media his rehab program might have been hurried, as he felt he may have rushed himself in trying to rejoin the team’s starting rotation.
“I was probably a little too impatient with my rehab,” Kershaw said. ”And that’s all me. This time it’s a little different because we’re up against a calendar. We’re going to rest as long as we can to give myself a good chance to pitch in meaningful games in September and be ready to go in October.”
Roberts said that Kershaw’s latest MRI scans haven’t revealed anything new, but trainers are waiting for the soreness to go away before they let the lefty resume throwing.
While fans officially welcomed Trea Turner to the team on Friday, the spot he took on the 60-man roster formerly belonged to Nelson. The team announced the 32-year-old Nelson would miss the rest of the season with two upcoming surgeries.
As pointed out by Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, “Nelson has been one of the best relievers in baseball while on the mound this year, but he has been limited to just 28 games and 29 innings. Among the 457 major league pitchers with at least 20 innings this season, Nelson ranks 14th in ERA (1.86), seventh in FIP (1.89), and 10th in strikeout rate (37.9 percent).”
For as long as the journey was for Nelson to overcome previous injuries and return to the majors, this latest setback might be his biggest stumbling block yet.
After showing signs of pain in the early stages of Friday’s game, Roberts finally pulled Betts from the contest in the seventh inning for what the team called “hip discomfort.”
This is the same issue that has been hampering Betts all year, ultimately sending him to the injured list. According to Roberts, Betts is currently day-to-day.
In a dose of much-needed good news, reliever Corey Knebel continues to throw the ball well. In his last outing for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday, Knebel struck out the side, remaining stellar on his rehab quest.
In five appearances, the 30-year-old righty has allowed one run on just three hits and a walk while striking out an impressive 10 batters. The next step for Knebel is making one more appearance on Saturday before being activated next week.
As far as other potential reinforcements go, newcomer Danny Duffy could conceivably see action before the end of August.
Veteran Cole Hamels could be joining the team sooner than expected. “He’s going to be here on Saturday to throw a simulated game; it’ll probably be an up and down, two innings,” Roberts said on Friday.
In the meantime, Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave was recently extended through August 13.