No question that White has been serviceable, but over the next several weeks there may be some pitchers returning who can elevate the team to another level, even though the Dodgers are currently one of the top performers in the majors.
As far as the offense goes, what you see is what you’re pretty much going to get in the second half, unless Andrew Friedman and his crew make a huge splash and upgrade the team with another decent bat, as unlikely as it is.
However, besides the club being likely to deal for a pitcher or two at the upcoming deadline, there are three current pitchers who might be able to impact the team significantly, in addition to Brusdar Graterol and Andrew Heaney, who may be back shortly.
Dustin May threw two scoreless innings in the Arizona Complex League over the weekend, suggesting that his return isn’t too far away. Although the popular belief is that the young righty will join the team as a reliever, there are a few pundits who feel the club could gradually stretch-out the youngster, potentially having him available as a playoff starter should the need be there.
The 24-year-old hasn’t thrown in the majors since April of last year after having undergone UCL surgery. In 2020, he made 12 appearances — 10 starts — registering a 3-1 record with a 2.57 ERA and 44 punchouts over 56 innings of work. He has a vast repertoire for a youngster, and his fastball hit triple-digits pre-surgery.
From what we can tell, Blake Treinen should be available to rejoin the team sometime in August. Having been shut down since mid-April, Treinen has been throwing off a mound since early July and may be ready for a rehab assignment soon.
Last year, the righty veteran was one of the most valuable pieces to the Los Angeles bullpen, leading the team with 72 appearances. Depending on whether Treinen fully recovers and if the Dodgers land a trustworthy reliever at the trade deadline, Treinen could also be an option to fill in at the closer role, if needed.
Walker Buehler has been out for more than a month and is currently on the 60-day injured list, recovering from a pair of injuries in his right forearm and elbow.
There have not been too many updates on when Buehler could return, and these types of injuries can be tricky to figure out in terms of how long it will keep a player out of action. The original expectation was for Buehler to potentially be out 10-12 weeks, so Dodgers fans should be happy if they can get him back on the mound in September.
If Buehler comes back at 100% and the rest of the staff stays healthy, the team could feature one of the best playoff rotations in the majors, especially if Tony Gonsolin continues his new-founded success.
Coincidentally, Buehler started the Dodgers’ playoff opener last season in the NLDS against the Giants on the road.