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.
There were some big blows dealt to the team over the course of the day on Friday, with the biggest news surrounding Clayton Kershaw, Jimmy Nelson and Mookie Betts.
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.
7 thoughts on “Dodgers Injury Notes: Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw, Jimmy Nelson, More”
Nelson is out, Kershaw may be out for the season. Betts looks to have something wrong with his hip rather than a strain. Lots to overcome. The offense has been so inconsistent the loss of Betts may be a fatal blow. We shall see.
At this point, I fear the Dodgers are playing for second place. If the Giants keep playing at their current winning percentage, the Dodgers would need a >.700 winning percentage to catch them. Hoping for a Giants collapse doesn’t feel very good.
Come on Waldo. 52 games left and they are only 4 back. Their lineup gets a huge shot in the arm with Turner, Betts is back in there tonight. Dodgers once had a 13 game lead on the 11th of August, and the Giants caught them. Anything can happen.
Turner leading off. Quackenbush called up, Dodgers lose Wallach to the Angels on waivers, Mookie back in the lineup and the Dodgers signed C Tony Wolters to a minor league deal.
You called that one Bear. Not sure we lost wallach as that would suggest it wasa loss. Just another one and done. Part of the dodgers employ a designate for a week program. A 35 man instead of 40 man roster would eliminate this ridiculous situation and possibly help the bottom teams. Not likely but possible.
I hear Hung Chi Kuo is holding a pitching showcase in Taiwan next week. Scouts for the Dodgers are expected to attend.
No, it would cause more problems. Look at it this way, with a 35 man roster, half of those guys on the IL would have to be released. A lot of the players on the 40 are at AAA.