It seems to be a race between which Corey will return to the Dodgers first, Corey Seager or Corey Knebel. The former is still working his way back from a fractured hand while the latter has been rehabbing from an injury of his own. Both players have been away for months and are nearing their respective returns.
For Knebel, he just started a rehab assignment and threw an inning in OKC. He retired all three batters he faced on 15 pitches, two via the strikeout.
Corey Knebel's 2 Ks from his perfect 1st inning for OKC, and I tacked on a couple of good looking curves as well. Hopefully there are no hiccups on this rehab stint, he has been missed. pic.twitter.com/TCiXmrwwWT
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) July 27, 2021
Dave Roberts listed out what he wants to see from the 29-year old reliever before he deems he’s ready to rejoin the Major League squad.
“Reports are good. One inning, I think he punched two. Velocity was in the mid-90s right where it needed to be. Command good. I just don’t see less than three outings. At some point there’s gotta be back-to-back. There might be an up and down in there. With Corey, once he does come back, we want to make sure we’ve checked all those boxes.”
While Roberts is unsure how many rehab appearances Knebel will ultimately need, he was adamant that it would not be less than three. It makes sense to ensure that he comes back 100% ready as the bullpen surely needs his help. The team has been lacking healthy and experienced arms all season. While the pen has been lights out at times, it has also been one of the biggest weaknesses for the Dodgers as well.
Not only will his experience be a huge help to the bullpen, but his fresh arm will also be able to absorb innings down the stretch and into the postseason shall the Dodgers get there. Before his injury, Knebel only threw 6 innings, so his arm has a lot to give. While it’s possible Los Angeles adds another late inning arm before the trade deadline is over, Knebel’s past success in the postseason will be just as big of an addition as any.
In 10 innings of work in October, all with the Milwaukee Brewers, he gave up only one hit and one run while striking out 14. That one hit and earned run also happened to be against the Dodgers.