The 2022 regular season will be over a week from today, on Wednesday, Oct 4th. The Los Angeles Dodgers are still treading water, just trying to keep in shape, in game mode, and not getting injured.
Last weekend, Craig Kimbrel was officially demoted from the closer position. Tuesday night, he blew another game, allowing the winning run to score in the bottom of the tenth inning. Not only did he allow the winning run, he walked in that run with the bases loaded.
Kimbrel’s issue most of the year has been his command. Pitching coach Mark Prior has done his best, but unfortunately, Kimbrel just can’t seem to find it. The Dodgers have the luxury of putting him in high leverage situations over the next seven games to see if he can fix himself, but time is running out. Kimbrel seems to be in danger of perhaps not even making the 26-man playoff roster.
In other bullpen arm injury news, Yency Almonte was reinstated from the injured list before Wednesday’s game. Almonte had been out with elbow inflammation. He told reporters that he had received a PRP injection in that elbow three weeks ago, and he has been pain free since.
In the corresponding move, Phil Bickford was placed on the IL with shoulder fatigue. That does not come as a surprise as Bickford has been a workhorse out of the ‘pen all season.
David Price was also reinstated from the IL, on Tuesday. In that corresponding move, Andre Jackson was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Tony Gonsolin is nearing his return as well. Gonsolin threw two scoreless innings in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, and is scheduled to be activated on Monday, presumably to start that game against the Colorado Rockies. The plan is for him to pitch three innings in his return, and then hopefully be built up for four innings in the NLDS.
Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw will follow his as starters for the next two, and last two, games of the regular season. Those two pitchers will start games One and Two of the NLDS that starts on October 11th. Manager Dave Roberts declined to say in what order they would start, but one could assume that it would be in that order, Urías then Kershaw.
Blake Treinen played catch on Wednesday for the second day in a row after having been shut down a week ago. Treinen was not rebounding as hoped after his second rehab outing. Whether he will still be able to contribute in the postseason remains to be seen.
Before Wednesday’s game, Dave Roberts announced that Justin Turner will be down for a few days. JT has been nursing a bruise from when he fouled off a pitch into his left shin in the doubleheader against Arizona last week, and then he re-aggravated it on a slide into second in Tuesday’s game.
The Dodgers are going for their franchise leading 107 wins Wednesday night in San Diego.