Dodgers Injury Notes: Utley, Hill, Kershaw, Ryu & More

You wouldn’t know it by the way the team is playing, but with 11 players listed on the disabled list, the Dodgers now have more injured players than they’ve had all year. And with nine members currently on the shelf, the pitching staff is far and away the most victimized part of the roster.

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported yesterday that of the nine injured pitchers, seven are suffering ailments related to the shoulder or the biceps. Righty reliever Pedro Baez was the latest to fall victim to such an epidemic as he was placed on the 10-day disabled list before Friday’s opener against the Giants with a bout of biceps tendinitis.

Nevertheless, better health appears to be on the horizon. But whether or not the team can maintain a high level of wellness—and win games while doing it—remains to be seen. Starting on Monday against the Cubs, a surplus of players may start being reinstated from the disabled list.

Second baseman Chase Utley will likely be the first of those players. The veteran has been on the DL since May 30 with a left thumb sprain, but he appeared to be near 100% while taking batting practice on Wednesday before a contest against the Rangers. There’s no reason not to believe he’ll be activated before the opener in Chicago.

Southpaw starter Rich Hill, who is coming off an impressive rehab start with Rancho on Thursday, is set to return to the mound on Tuesday. He’s recovering from a blister that has sidelined him since May 20. In the outing against Lake Elsinore, he gave up two runs—both unearned—and four hits, striking out 10 and walking none in 4 2/3 innings.

“It felt great. It felt normal,” Hill told reporters. “I would say my curve ball was probably the best it’s been in three years. My fastball is as good as it was in ’16 and last year. We made a few mechanical, small changes that made huge differences with the ball coming out of my hand the way that I want it to.”

With Hill, Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood seemingly in good health, the starting rotation of the Dodgers is starting to show a small semblance of the unit that began the season.

Furthermore, with both skipper Dave Roberts and boss Andrew Friedman in attendance, staff ace Clayton Kershaw completed a 55-pitch session on Friday that also included a simulated inning where he sat for a short period of time before he resumed throwing. One of the biggest concerns with Kersh’s back injury was his endurance across not just a high pitch count, but rather with the up-and-down nature of pitching multiple innings. The team seemed happy with his performance after his latest endeavor, and thinking conservatively, it’s not out of the question for fans to expect a return sometime in early July.

“A major league start is not the next step,” Roberts explained about Kershaw’s progress. “Making sure Kershaw is okay with next step being either a sim game or a rehab assignment.”

It’s still foggy as to when when rookie right-hander Walker Buehler, who was placed on the 10-day DL with a rib injury on June 9, will return to the big league rotation.

“Walker is feeling better with time,” Roberts added. “He’s playing catch. But as far as a timetable, when he’ll make a start again for us, I’m not certain.”

Hyun-Jin Ryu threw off a bullpen mound again on Tuesday and appears to be progressing nicely. This is an encouraging step for the lefty, who has been on the shelf since May 3 with a severe left groin injury. While he’s eligible to come off the 60-day DL on July 2, it’s certainly not an accurate timetable, as the club will undoubtedly proceed very slowly with the final stages of his recovery process.

While there have been some reports that lefty Julio Urias could conceivably return sometime after the All-Star break, there’s still a long way to go in his recovery. Even though he began throwing off a mound in late May, Urias will likely require a long rehab stint in the upper levels of the minors and will likely be optioned to Triple-A initially when he is activated from the 60-day disabled list. If there’s a need in the rotation, realistically, the lefty could be starting games in late August, if all parts of his recovery plan go perfectly.

Lefty reliever Tony Cingrani, who has been inactive since June 7 with a rotator cuff strain, may also be available for the beginning of next week’s road trip.

 

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Dodgers Injury Notes: Buehler, Turner, Kershaw, Maeda & More

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As the players on the 25-man roster seemingly continue to drop like flies, the Dodgers are still finding ways to win baseball games. Thanks mainly to a red-hot offense, the team has won 16 of its last 21 games and are now one game above the .500 mark for the first time since April 23.

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Dodgers Reinforce Bullpen with Liberatore & Venditte

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The never ending rotating arms traveling from the DL to the Dodgers to Oklahoma City and back again continues. On Friday night, the Dodgers announced that switch-pitcher Pat Venditte and left handed Adam Liberatore were recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City, Brock Stewart was optioned back to OKC, and Dennis Santana was placed on the 10-Day disabled list retroactive to June 5.

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Dodgers Announce Flurry of Roster Moves

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The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday reinstated outfielder Yasiel Puig from the 10-day disabled list (left hip contusion) and recalled left-handed reliever Scott Alexander and right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart from Triple-A Oklahoma City. To create room on the active roster, the Dodgers placed left-handed reliever Tony Cingrani on the 10-day DL (left shoulder inflammation) and optioned right-hander Yimi García and outfielder Alex Verdugo to OKC.

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Dodgers Injury Notes: Turner, Puig, Hill, Forsythe & More

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As it’s difficult to actually put into words how much injuries have had an impact on the Dodgers‘ performance so far this year, the good news is that there may be a few players who are close to returning to action.

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Dodgers Injury Notes: Hill, Turner, Forsythe, Koehler & More

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While there hasn’t been an overwhelming number of injuries so far this season, there have been enough to create a hindrance in some of the key areas of the Dodgers roster, perhaps even having an effect on the club’s overall performance.

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Dodgers 25-Man Roster: The Inevitable Third Base Conversation

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Aside from the unfortunate injury to righty swing man Tom Koehler and the ongoing roster battle in left field, there haven’t been an overwhelming number of developments to report regarding the Dodgers’ 2018 spring camp.

That is, until the troubling news about Justin Turner‘s left wrist developed on Monday evening.

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Roster Ramifications if Corey Seager’s Elbow Doesn’t Heal

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The Dodgers are halfway through spring training and their All-Star shortstop has yet to take the field defensively. In the games Corey Seager has appeared, he has done so solely as a designated hitter. While the Dodgers have plans for him to start playing the field next week, we should look at the options that Los Angeles has should his elbow discomfort amount to something more.

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Dodgers Injury News: Koehler, Seager, Barnes, Jansen & More

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Although it’s not directly related to injury, among the biggest news of the week was a fluke illness which ran rampant through the Dodgers‘ clubhouse, affecting more than 25 players, coaches and trainers.

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Dodgers Roster: What Ever Happened to Scott Kazmir?

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It seems like an eternity, but it’s only been just shy of two years since the Dodgers signed veteran southpaw starter Scott Kazmir to a 3-year/$48 million deal that left many fans excited about a prospective rotation upgrade.

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