The injury bug is already digging its sharp teeth into the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff, and we’re still not at the quarter-way mark of the year.
Although the 2022 season began extremely well for both the starting rotation and relief crew, things may be starting to bend a bit, especially if the last few games are any indication.
Over the last three contests — all of which were losses — the Dodgers have surrendered a whopping 26 runs. 21 of those runs came against the Phillies, who have one of the better-rated offenses in the National League. The Los Angeles ace, righty Walker Buehler, gave up nine hits Friday night after moving his start up a day, the most hits he’s surrendered in an outing in almost three years.
“We weren’t very effective today on the pitching front,” Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said after Friday’s 12-10 loss to the Phillies. ”They’re aggressive. They have good hitters in their lineup. We just didn’t do enough. We put ourselves in bad counts and had to come after hitters.”
No Timetable for Clayton Kershaw
The worst news of the day came Friday morning when the team placed Clayton Kershaw on the shelf with SI joint inflammation. The SI joint links the spine to the pelvis and inflammation can cause pain that extends down the legs, so it appears this is happening with Kershaw down his right leg. A potential timetable to return hasn’t yet been mentioned.
Kershaw joins fellow southpaw Andrew Heaney on the injured list, who is still quite far from a prospective return. Tyler Anderson and youngster Ryan Pepiot have made starts in Heaney’s absence. With Kershaw on the shelf, it could mean the club gets an extended look at Pepiot.
Blake Treinen Probably Out Until All-Star Break
To make matters worse, the team hinted earlier in the week that righty reliever Blake Treinen would probably be out until at least the All-Star break with shoulder issues.
“He’s still not playing catch, so I don’t have a timetable,” manager Dave Roberts said about Treinen on Monday. “I will say it’s safe to say, his value for us is during the stretch run, whatever that means. So we’re going to take our time with him and do everything we can to make sure he’s ready for the second half of the season.”
Last season, Treinen led the entire team with 72 relief appearances, followed by Kenley Jansen with 69. The next closest was Phil Bickford at 56, who still hasn’t resembled his old self after beginning the 2022 season on the injured list with arm soreness.
Tommy Kahnle looked decent in his first few appearances after returning from UCL surgery, but he has been wild lately. Over four total outings this year, Kahnle has surrendered three earned runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batsman over an even four innings of work.