While the starting rotation of the Los Angeles Dodgers was one of the team’s most consistent strengths throughout the regular season, it has quickly become a potential postseason concern as multiple injuries will have at least some kind of impact.
When news broke that Walker Buehler would undergo UCL surgery and miss most of the 2023 season, it was easy to stay positive about the rotation, especially when considering the way Tony Gonsolin was throwing. Obviously, Buehler’s injury was a huge loss, but it seemed like the Dodgers were still in solid shape heading into a strong October run.
Gonsolin’s forearm problems, however, are a different concern. Fans of the Dodgers everywhere held their collective breath when they were first informed about the injury, but they were somewhat relieved when they heard that the 28-year-old Vacaville resident would probably spend a minimal amount of time on the injured list.
The news surrounding Gonsolin’s forearm has been like a roller coaster so far. When skipper Dave Roberts initially said that his righty’s arm wasn’t responding as well as he liked, the outlook appeared gloomy. Nevertheless, MRI results on Friday were encouraging, leading Roberts to guess that Gonsolin could potentially miss only a few rotation turns, potentially giving him plenty of time to prepare for the playoffs.
Still, just knowing the way these things play out sometimes, it’s tough to bank on a 100% recovery.
The same can be said for lefty Clayton Kershaw. While the future Hall of Famer looked solid in his return from a back injury this week against the Mets, many fans are left thinking if his fragile back — and the rest of his body — can hold up for as long as the Dodgers stay alive in the postseason.
Strangely enough, Julio Urias and Tyler Anderson, who wasn’t among the 2022 Opening Day starting rotation, are the only current starting pitchers who haven’t spent time on the injured list this year. Both pitchers are tied with the team lead for 25 starts and expect to play roles in the playoff rotation, should they stay healthy.
Dustin May continues to work his way back, although his latest outing on Friday night in the opener against the Padres was certainly a rocky one. The hard-throwing righty went five full innings, allowing six earned runs on four hits and a whopping five walks.
Considering the potential of the offense and the way we all know that Urias and Kershaw can throw, the Dodgers have as good of a chance of any to perform well during the 2022 postseason. However, the team needs to be careful the rest of the way through, as one more serious injury to the starting rotation could put a damper on their opportunities.