Which Dodgers Are Poised for Comebacks in 2022?

We are now in January, the time when the negotiations to end the lockout were supposed to take place. So far, it remains stagnant, even though MLB insider Ken Rosenthal was reportedly let go for his criticism of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

It is starting to get to the point where it may affect the season if no progress is made soon.

All hope is that we still get a season at some point in time. Getting back into some Dodger-related insight, we’ll be taking a look at some players who could be poised for big comebacks in 2022. It could be because they suffered an injury, struggled or simply didn’t live up to their standards.

Dustin May

Originally beginning the year as the fifth starter in a loaded rotation, May suffered an injury early that required Tommy John surgery. At the time of his injury, he had only started five games and had a 2.74 ERA. If it wasn’t for the jam-packed Dodgers rotation at the beginning of the season, May could have easily been a number two or three or any other rotation.

Obviously, he will not be ready for the start of the 2022 regular season, but he can possibly join the team around June. May is a great young pitcher and can very well be poised for a great 2022 campaign once he is healthy.

Tommy Kahnle

Kahnle did not step on the mound for the Dodgers during 2021. He was signed during the 2020 offseason from the Yankees, but also had Tommy John surgery. He should be ready to join the Dodgers bullpen during the 2022 campaign.

During the 2020 season, he only pitched in one game before getting hurt. During his last full season in 2019, he posted a 3.67 ERA in 72 appearances and a WHIP of 1.06. If he is able to stay healthy, he could be a big contributor in the Dodger bullpen.

Cody Bellinger

The former NL MVP had a rough 2021, from various injury list stints to struggling at the plate. Come playoff time, he turned it around, but Dodger fans are hoping for a comeback of that 2019 MVP version. This one just feels natural, as it seems Bellinger is just too good of a hitter to remain below the Mendoza line.

Anything really can be an improvement from .165. If he manages to stay healthy throughout the year, his numbers will improve. Before the lockout, Bellinger and the Dodgers agreed to a one year $17 million deal to avoid arbitration.

Those are just three players for the Dodgers I think can be poised for comebacks in the 2022 season.

Today is also the one year anniversary since the passing of Dodger legend Tommy Lasorda, so I’d like to pay my respects to the great baseball icon.

22 thoughts on “Which Dodgers Are Poised for Comebacks in 2022?

  1. Two more players who could contribute next year are Caleb Ferguson, coming back from TJ and Edwin Rios coming back from shoulder surgery.

      1. Are you saying that the projections don’t figure we’re going to get much from those two?
        Actually, I’m not expecting much from Rios because I always figure a player needs at least one year of playing to get back to his real form after shoulder surgery. Hopefully Ferguson will still have decent control after all that time off.

        If not, we can always trade Lux for Trout and Ohtani.

      2. Ferguson 32 innings. Rios, -0.8 WAR. Maybe they offer more, and I sure hope they do,but I wouldn’t count on it.

        That statement by Fabian suggests to me Freeman is in play. We could get quality starting pitching for Lux.

      3. Freeman is in play for us…………………….and for the Yankees………………..and most of all for the Braves.
        Who knows, maybe the Braves would rather let Freeman and his 6 year deal go and sign Rizzo for 3 years or trade for Olson.

        OK, give me a trade or two using Lux to get a “quality pitcher”. I don’t think I give him up to get a pitcher I can control for only one or two years. So here’s your chance to be GM for a day. Give me something I can’t resist.

      4. Easy for you. Not so easy for me.
        I wouldn’t take Moustakas under any circumstances. He was horrific last year and hasn’t really been productive in the last two years. He’s going into his age 33 year. If we include his buyout in year 3, he’s going to earn an average of 19 mil in each of the next two years. We’ve got a payroll situation to begin with. Adding almost 20 mil per year for a guy like Big Mike is, to me, a major waste of money.
        I might consider Suarez instead of Moustakas. Three years of control for an average of 11 mil plus a team option at 15 mil for a fourth year. If the Dodgers think they could fix him, I’d consider that one…….but the Reds might not.

        As far as the Trade Values trade is concerned, again I’m a Mahle fan but that’s just too much and Antone just had TJ for the second time, so that’s a non starter. Garrett is one of those explosive personalities. Not sure if we need him in the clubhouse although I find him intriguing. But I’m not including Vargas. Every indication is that he’s going to be a very very good hitter. We could very well be without JT and Muncy and Trea in the next 2-3 years. Very good hitters don’t grow on trees. Vargas is out best hitting prospect.

        Just my opinions. How about some of the rest of you weighing in. Maybe I’m the only one who says no to these trades.

      5. I am one of those guys that want them to use the Farm System for players to loosen up money to sign free agents for the weak spots. The Dodgers are projected to be strong in the pitching & catching departments. Vargas and Busch are the best bats that are almost ready to come up. Vargas or Busch can play 1st and possibly other spots. Young players need time. I think Lux will improve. I think McKinstry will always be a borderline player.
        Everything I am reading lately says Bauer will not be back but the Dodger budget may take a big hit. So they need to bring up Miller and possibly Knack and Pepiot in 2022. If there is a season. This labor problem is going to cut way into the season I believe. Bring up Vargas he has hit everywhere he has played.

      6. Ok, your point makes sense. Moustakas had an off year last year but OPS’d .799 the year before, .845 and an All Star the year before that. He’s 33 and just a throw in to get us Castillo. $16 million ain’t that much. With some motivation, and playing for a winner again, he might could do fine in our lineup and earn that $16 mil. It’s only 2 WAR. Suarez doesn’t accomplish what Moustakas does. What about the other deal that gets us Mahle?

      7. Check the second paragraph of my answer for my take on the Mahle deal. I’m keeping Vargas.
        I understand that some here might feel I value our prospects too highly and they might be right, but to me Vargas is at or very near the top of the “keeper” list.

      8. I don’t necessarily buy the values either. They’ve got Vargas 8 points higher than Lux. I like Vargas too, and so does everyone doing those trade scenarios as he’s mentioned all over the place, but to grade him that much higher than Lux is a stretch. At the same age Lux was putting up positive numbers in the bigs. Vargas is a AA player.

        If you want to get a front line starter it’s going to cost. You want Castillo? You give up Lux and Pages and you take on Moustakas, or you also give Vargas or Miller. I take on Moustakas. It’s only money and we got plenty of that.

  2. Add Gondsolin to the list as he never got untracked from injuries. Mookie was fighting his hip issues and was rarely able to play to his ability consistently. Lux like Bellinger improved at the end of the year but he was not consistent either.
    When you consider all of the injuries the Dodgers had last year and the players that had poor years for whatever reason it’s a wonder they were able to get into the playoffs! They lost two key starting pitchers early, May and Bauer plus Kershaw was out at critical moments and Gonsolin was inconsistent battling injury. Seager was out a good part of the year and Bellinger was terrible as was Lux but they still won a lot of games. Amazing!

    1. Amazing is the word. All season. I kept shaking my head at their sucess. Now I look back and have no idea how they achieved so many wins with so many problems and player under performances. On top of all that we found out that their farm system was depleted. Maybe Roberts deserves more credit than we realize. Nah. That’s silly.

    1. Thanks Jeff. Great read. Nice to see a little realism instead of the LA LA columns we generally see. Everyone should read this before raving about prospects. What we see and what teams see are different worlds. Interesting take on the 3 pitchers we always talk about and the guys we think can hit. Also looks like some potential at the lower levels as there always is I guess.

      1. We didn’t trade Lux if BA makes the final decision, but if AF makes that decision……………….well, we may have to wait a few weeks to find out.

  3. The fly in the ointment is Muncy. If Max is not ready to go full bore in spring, they have a 1st base problem. If they sign Freeman, no first base problem and now you have a where do you play Max problem when he returns. I think his elbow is going to at the very least limit what he is able to do in spring training. A late start would benefit him some, but how bad is his elbow at this point? Spring would normally be 5 weeks away. Max could report early since he finished the season on the IL. Then there are the proposed rule changes which are also being negotiated. I am pretty certain the universal DH will be instituted this time. Too many want it. MLB wants offense without a glut of HR’s that were the norm in 19 and 20. Adding a hitter and taking the pitchers usually weak bats out helps that. It also gives the MLBPA slots for aging vets trying to extend their careers. With the DH, you would see guys like Cruz able to sign in the NL. Previously, those slots were not open to them. They had to find work in the AL. Beaty is a perfect LH candidate for DH, as well as Turner, when he is not playing 3rd from the right side. I also think Trea Turner is going to test his free agency at the end of the year. Unless LA makes him a 300 million dollar man, he is not signing an extension. That to me means Lux, who is better at SS than 2nd, will stick around all year. If they trade for a pitcher, it won’t be a top of the line starter and they won’t use Lux. I expect Bellinger to be much better prepared this season and to take the approach he used come playoff time into each game. The homers will come, just hit the ball hard somewhere.

    1. Beaty doesn’t slug enough for me.

      If Muncy doesn’t come back at 100% we have a problem. That’s a middle order 5 WAR bat.

      I’m ok with him at second if we add Freeman, though I still believe Freddie stays in Atlanta. I’m also just fine with Lux at second and Muncy at DH.

      1. Beaty has not shown that he is a slugger, but he makes a lot of contact and with regular at bats he might get you 15 HR’s. He hit 9 as a part timer. Freeman is not too happy with the Braves and they really do not want to give him his six years. I think the chances he goes somewhere are better than 50-50.

      2. The ideal DH is the guy like Nelson Cruz, but he’s 42 next July 1st. Who’s the next guy like him? Beats me, but there’s nobody near him on the Free Agent list. If we sign Freeman and don’t trade Lux, we’ll be just fine. Big if. A lot of if’s at the moment and they aren’t going away any time soon.

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