As it’s been nearly 10 days since we’ve put together our last injury report, there hasn’t been any changes to the disabled list of the Dodgers, outside of several cases of improvement to a few players who could contribute to the club down the stretch run of the season.
It’s really not that difficult to inadvertently overlook the injuries of the Dodgers considering the club’s most recent string of success; however, looking ahead, the overall health of the squad could become a critical factor during the stretch run of the regular season and into the playoffs.
While it’s probably not the most ideal time to begin a discussion about the Dodgers bullpen considering the way the offense has been producing over the last month, the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline is now a mere four weeks away, and it would be very surprising if the club did not try to upgrade with at least one quality arm.
Fans of the Dodgers breathed a sigh of relief earlier this week as Corey Seager‘s injury was not quite as bad as it could have been, allowing the shortstop to avoid the disabled list. Seager returned to the lineup Thursday night in Anaheim and went 0-for-4. He was replaced in the sixth inning by Enrique Hernandez to give him a rest. It was a week ago when Seager first felt tightness in his hamstring after a swing, and he exited that game after two innings. He spent this week testing his hamstring on and off the field, and was said to be available off the bench, although he was never used. Before the injury, he was sporting a .329/.433/.605 slash line with six doubles and five home runs in June alone.
If there’s one secondary detail that’s currently being overshadowed by the scorching hot play of the Dodgers right now, it’s the fact that there are still several serious injuries to players which don’t appear to be improving anytime soon. In most cases, the tremendous organizational depth of the club covers just about any type of potential ailment, yet in the case of one certain shortstop, fans everywhere are hoping for just a very minor hiccup.
So, it just might be that these Dodgers are pretty good. After sweeping a four-game series with the Mets, they head into a series with the second place Colorado Rockies riding a seven game winning streak. They’ve won 13 of their last 14 games.
As avid followers of the Dodgers, many fans often know which relievers aren’t the most reliable out of the bullpen without needing to dig heavily into specific player statistics. At the same time, it’s difficult to comprehend that the Los Angeles relief corps still ranks second in the National League with a sub-3.00 ERA while having two or more relievers who seemingly are mainly utilized in low-leverage situations.
Hindsight is always 20/20. Of course. But I bet that Dave Roberts wishes he would’ve pulled a different play in the top of the first inning yesterday. Instead of having Chris Taylor swing away, he called for a sacrifice squeeze. The Dodgers already had two runs in, and two runners on base. Instead of getting to the rookie pitcher early, Taylor hit into a inning ending double-play where Utley was tagged out trying to go home and Yasmani Grandal was tagged trying to head into third.
While most pieces of the bullpen have shown flashes of brilliance during the young 2017 campaign, Friday evening’s implosion against the Diamondbacks left many fans of the Dodgers wondering if the relief corps has the structural integrity to hold up over the long haul, or if the front office crew will feel the need to go shopping for a few upgrades before the trade deadline arrives in July.
The rest of the inning did not go quite as smoothly. Wil Myers hit to Corey Seager at short, and Corey committed his first error of the year on the throw to Adrian Gonzalez, advancing Myers to second. He then headed to third on a passed ball by Yasmani Grandal, and scored on a hit by Yangervis Solarte. Kershaw got out of the inning, and things got much better from there.