The Los Angeles Dodgers secured their spot in the postseason with a win on Sunday. Or did they?
Apparently, someone jumped the gun saying the Dodgers were in. But don’t fear, Dodgers fans, I think they still have a good chance at getting in to the playoffs.
The Dodgers can clinch that playoff spot with a win on Monday. They can also bring their magic number down to one with that same win, as the San Diego Padres are off on Monday. Then with a win or a Padres loss on Tuesday, they will secure the NL West once again. Merry Clinchmas Eve, everyone!
Of course, one of the big areas the Dodgers need to sort out before those playoffs is the make up of the bullpen. As many relief pitchers are either recovering from or returning soon from injury, it may not be until October until we have a clear picture of the relief core.
Fans had been wishing for Blake Treinen to return from his injury he incurred in April. Treinen returned for two outings, and then had to return to the IL, this time with right shoulder tightness, backdated to September 7th. On Monday, Treinen played catch from about 60 feet. Afterwards, he said he felt confident he will be able to contribute in the postseason.
Tommy Kahnle is with the Dodgers taxi squad, and could be activated this week, perhaps even in this Arizona Diamondbacks series.
Two Dodgers relief pitchers most likely will not be back for the rest of the season.
Danny Duffy has not been bouncing back from his rehab assignment. He struck out the side in a rehab stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City on August 31st, then allowed three runs in his next outing, and most recently pitched two days ago. However his arm is not responding as hoped, and has been shut down.
Victor Gonzalez also has had his rehab work stopped, as he has been feeling arm fatigue.
In non-relief pitcher news, Tony Gonsolin is also not making a quick return to the starting rotation. Gonsolin had a bullpen Sunday, and came out of it feeling “OK”. Manager Dave Roberts acknowledged that Gonsolin is stealing dealing with some firearm soreness.
When asked how optimistic he is that Gonsolin will be ready to start a playoff game, Roberts said “Right now I’m still confident. But obviously every day that goes by that he’s not at full strength, a little less confident.”
Michael Grove has a locker in the visiting clubhouse in Arizona. The Dodgers currently have TBA list for their starter on Wednesday, so he could be slotted in to a spot start then.
In the one non-pitching injury update, Kevin Pillar will be starting a rehab assignment in the next few days. He has recovered more quickly from what was thought to have a been a season ending shoulder surgery. Whether he could be a postseason factor, as with the previous mentioned players, remains to be seen.