Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Addresses Poor Timing with Injuries

The Dodgers are no strangers to poorly-timed injuries. Last season, they lost Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw to elbow injuries in the final weekend of the regular season, then saw Max Scherzer unable to take the ball in the NLCS due to a dead arm.

Every team deals with injuries, and the Dodgers aren’t expecting sympathy from anyone as they barrel their way to the best record in baseball. Still, as Bill Plunkett writes for the Orange County Register, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledges that the timing of this year’s slew of injuries isn’t ideal. Reliever Brusdar Graterol was placed on the injured list on Thursday with an elbow issue, and starter Tony Gonsolin’s timeline for a return from the IL is unclear.

“We’re banged up more than we had hoped. I think that’s fair,” Roberts said of his pitching staff, adding that Blake Treinen’s anticipated return Friday mitigates that somewhat. “But right now, this moment in time – yeah, we’re a little bit more banged up than we’d hoped.”

With Treinen coming back today, that will leave four injured relievers the Dodgers are expecting to be ready this season: Yency Almonte, Victor Gonzalez, Danny Duffy, and Tommy Kahnle. While Roberts said last week that there might not be room for all of those guys on the roster this year, he acknowledged on Thursday that the Dodgers are likely to need at least some of them.

“We do,” Roberts acknowledged. “And that was kind of the calculus even going back to the (trade) deadline … you don’t need all of them but we’re gonna count on some of them.

“We’re getting Blake [Friday] and Tommy Kahnle threw yesterday or two days ago, really good. Victor is throwing the ball well. Duffy threw yesterday, he threw really well. So to have the uncertainty with some guys right now, to have other guys kind of waiting in the wings is certainly helpful.”

None of those rehabbing pitchers are starters — Duffy has been a starter throughout his career, but there’s no way he’d be ready to start this season — so the recent news that Gonsolin’s arm isn’t responding to treatment the way they had hoped is concerning. But with Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Tyler Anderson, and Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles still has the firepower to get through the season and hopefully go as deep in the postseason as they’re hoping to. Of course, the hope is still that Gonsolin will return, which would bolster the bullpen by bumping one or two of those starters to a relief role.

The makeup of the postseason pitching staff is murkier than ever, but the Dodgers seem confident that whoever is there will be effective.

BIG Dodgers Roster/Injury Update: Graterol to IL, Miguel Vargas Replacing Hanser? Treinen & More!

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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