Dodger Injury News and Notes – Chris Taylor, Craig Kimbrel, and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally seemed to put it all together. They have won six of their last seven and now have a 5.5 game lead in the NL West over the San Diego Padres.

Unfortunately, though, it seems as if the Dodgers will be without their All-Star Utility man Chris Taylor for at least the next several weeks.

Taylor fouled a ball off his left foot during Saturday night’s game against the Padres. He sat out of Sunday’s contest, and was removed in the sixth inning of Monday night’s game with what was initially thought to be ankle swelling. He underwent a CT scan on Tuesday which revealed a small fracture in his left foot.

“Not what I was hoping for, obviously”, Taylor told Sportsnet LA. “Definitely was a surprise to me”. Taylor was surprised by the result as he hasn’t felt a lot of pain. He stated that it was a small fracture, “but it’s going to be a little longer than initially expected”.

“Once we get the swelling out, I think it going to be ‘per his tolerance’, so, hopefully it won’t be more than a few weeks” manager Dave Roberts also said to SNLA.

The Dodgers are lucky to already have Trayce Thompson on the team, whom they acquired when Mookie Betts was out with his injury. Thompson has been playing well since his return to the Dodgers, and should be seeing more playing time in place of CT3.

Closer Craig Kimbrel should be available to pitch on Wednesday. Kimbrel was hit in the back by a come-backer on Sunday.

“Everything came back clean with Kimbrel”, Roberts also told reporters. He will avoid in the injured list and should be ready next time he is called upon.

Blake Treinen has started throwing off a mound. His first bullpen session was July 4th. Roberts quipped that he looked “pretty dang good”. The earliest Treinen would return would be August, but there is no set timetable as of yet.

Andrew Heaney has also started throwing off the mound. He threw a bullpen session before Tuesday’s game, his first since retuning to the IL with some renewed shoulder discomfort after his start on June 19.

“I saw it. The ball was coming out well,” Roberts told Bill Plunkett of the OC Register. “It was fastball, slider. I think it was right around 30 pitches. As far as the next progression, certainly there’s another bullpen. There’s facing hitters and then we’ll talk about potential starting. So I think he’s still a ways down the road.”

It was originally thought that Heaney would only miss a few starts, but now the general consensus is to slow play him and make sure he is fully healed before returning to the team.

Walker Buehler still is not doing anything with his throwing arm yet. He had surgery three weeks ago to remove a bone spur from his right elbow, and has been working to regain his range of motion.

He is not expected to do any throwing for the next three weeks. Buehler will likely have an MRI on that elbow before he is able to start throwing.

Let’s Talk About the Dodgers Bullpen

If you had told Los Angeles Dodgers fans on Thursday, before the start of the four game series with the San Diego Padres, that the Dodgers would take three of four, most would be incredibly happy with that.

Indeed, that is something to be happy about. The Dodgers increased their lead in the NL West by two games and now are 3.5 games ahead of the Padres.

Sunday’s game was the only loss. Mookie Betts returned to the lineup after having been out dealing with a sore rib and went two-for-three with a run scored. Clayton Kershaw was his vintage self, going seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking only one batter.

But the end of Sunday’s matinee game will leave a sour taste in Dodger fans’ mouths for awhile. The Dodgers were up 1-0 in the top of the ninth and Craig Kimbrel entered to close out the game. He struck out Manny Machado, but then on the next batter, took a ball off of his scapula. He stayed in the game, but ended up giving up four runs, and the Padres went on to win the game.

It could be that the hit off his back led him to not pitch well after he was hit. But more likely, he is just not as good as he once was, and becoming a detriment to the bullpen. Since May 15, he has been scored upon more often than not. Sunday was his third blown save in his last seven appearances.

After the game, Manager Dave Roberts said that scans on Kimbrel’s back were negative, and he would be down for a couple days. When he returns, he absolutely will still be the closer, because “he deserves that”.

But should he? Yes, the Dodgers made the choice to send AJ Pollock to the Chicago White Sox to acquire the closer. And yes, he started the season pretty dominant. And yes, the bullpen is a little depleted right now due to injury.

But at the same time, a ‘closer’ is brought in to close out the game. To shut the door. To not even let the other team get on base, let alone score runs.

No closer is infallible, of course. Pitchers are human and have bad days. But with Kimbrel, it seems he is either really good or really bad, and you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. Except lately, it has trended much more towards really bad.

Blake Treinen would be the obvious choice for replacing Kimbrel as closer. That is, once he returns from the injured list. Unfortunately that timetable is still unclear.

“Blake, I was watching throw, he’s really good and it’s close,” Roberts said. “But what that means I can’t even specify right now. But yeah, he’s been tracking really well.”

Until then, perhaps the Dodgers could turn to Evan Phillips. He has been just as dominant so far this season as Treinen has been in past seasons. Caleb Ferguson also is due to return to the bullpen at the end of his IL stint. Dustin May could be deployed as a lethal arm out of the ‘pen as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. While he wouldn’t necessarily be the closer, David Price has looked really good in his last few appearances. And the Dodgers still have returns from David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to look forward to towards the end of the season.

Until then, however, the Dodgers will continue to put Craig Kimbrel out in the ninth inning. If nothing else, the Dodgers and Dave Roberts go above and beyond believing in their players that they will once again regain their form. Let’s just hope that this tactic helps them more than harms.

Dodgers News and Notes – Best Win So Far? Injury Updates and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers had what could very well be their best win of the season so far on Sunday night.

After splitting the first two games of the series in Atlanta against the Braves, the Dodgers were held scoreless and were down to their last out, facing their former closer Kenley Jansen. With runners on second and third, Trayce Thompson plunked a single just beyond the reach of Braves first baseman Matt Olson, trying the game.

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More Thoughts on Dodgers Bullpen as Trade Deadline Approaches

With righty reliever Daniel Hudson going down to what is possibly a season-ending knee injury on Friday night, many fans of the Dodgers are wondering how the team plans to compensate over the long term.

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Dodgers Injury Updates and Other Notes

The Los Angeles Dodgers have made it to the end of their marathon month, 31 games in 30 days, and are finally enjoying their first day off since May 19th. After two road trip and two home stands, the Dodgers finish this slog-fest with a record of 19-12, and 35-19 overall.

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Dodgers News and Notes – Andrew Heaney’s Progress, Mookie’s Month of May and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers are two-thirds through their current 10 game road trip. Their record thus far is 4-2, dropping the final game of the series against both the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals.

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Amid Four Game Sweep of Diamondbacks, Dodgers Make Flurry of Pitching Moves

What a difference a day/team/series makes. After barely pulling out one win in four against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers have gone on to sweep a four game series from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Thoughts on the Dodgers Past Week and a Look Ahead at the Diamondbacks Series

Well that was a week of baseball worth forgetting about.

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished their week at 2-5, and nearly were swept in a four game series by the Philadelphia Phillies. They had already lost two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Dodgers were thoroughly owned by teams from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Dodgers Roster: More Starting Rotation and Bullpen Thoughts

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.

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