Keeping Tabs on Spring Injuries
Much like during the regular season, the Dodgers roster will be in constant flux. The inevitable disabilities and slumps always make it that much more important to have a solid 40-man roster in which to draw from. Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi have been working to bolster the outlaying areas of the 40-man roster for the Dodgers, but have they acquired enough depth to counterbalance the injuries which are already starting to pop up?
Spring Training commenced last Thursday with pitchers and catchers reporting to Camelback Ranch, but there already has been some injuries and general rustiness to talk about.
Feb 23, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws to home plate during camp at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Zack Greinke received a lubricating injection in his right elbow on Thursday supposedly as a precautionary move. Greinke has a history of having soreness in his elbow, and the injection will hopefully allow Greinke to pitch more comfortably and successfully this Spring in order to ward off his usual Spring Training rustiness. The last thing the Dodgers need is Greinke to stiffen up like the Tin Man who didn’t receive his oil can lubrication.
Even if it is just precautionary, the thought of Greinke receiving an elbow injection doesn’t really make me feel too confident. Greinke did battle through elbow soreness last season to pitch wonderfully, but nevertheless I worry.
Joel Peralta, whom the Dodgers need more than ever now that Kenley Jansen is out for two to three months after foot surgery, has resumed playing catch (Zach Greinke has resumed playing catch as well according to Ken Gurnick) after feeling some shoulder discomfort.
The 39-year old reliever first felt the discomfort back at home in the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago. It was nice to hear that he “immediately called the Dodgers medical staff.”
Peralta is a few days behind, but the shoulder injury doesn’t seem to be anything serious.
Kenley Jansen is in a cast for a little while longer while he recovers from foot surgery. Jansen was shocked to find out he had a growth on his foot after a MRI.
"“The X-ray scared everybody,” said Jansen. “But the MRI gave good news that it wasn’t a big thing. They said it was mostly fluid that got into the bone, but if I had continued to pitch on it, the bone could get weak and get damaged, and they’d rather take it out now so I wouldn’t be out a long time.”"
The fact that the Dodgers second best arm (Clayton Kershaw being the top Dodger pitcher of course) has a bone tumor is really frightening. I’m glad that it turned out to be benign, and the problem was corrected with surgery and shouldn’t return.
Call to the Pen
Once Jansen’s cast is removed, he will be wearing a boot on his foot for about five days. After that he will be able to slowly begin to rehab and begin a conditioning program with an expected return to the mound for the Dodgers in 2-3 months.
Nearly the entire Dodger team has already reported to Camelback Ranch. The first full squad workout is scheduled for Thursday. I’m sure we will hear about more rusty shoulders and elbows before Cactus League play begins on Wednesday, March 4th.
It’s hard for me to not be worried about any injury or soreness we hear about, but I’m going to try to stay positive. I’m just thankful Kenley Jansen’s foot tumor didn’t turn out to be life-threatening. Jansen persevered after having heart surgery for an irregular heartbeat, and I’m sure he’ll be able to bounce back from this set back and resume his excellent pitching this season.
The new front office regime has been collecting extra arms for needed depth. The Dodgers officially announced they had signed right-hand pitcher Dustin McGowan on Monday. McGowan, along with a plethora of new Dodger pitchers who have been signed this offseason including Brandon Beachy, David Aardsma, Dustin Richardson, Felix Lacen, Jose Santos, Gregorio Sequera, Ramon Troncoso, B.J. Rosenberg, Jeremy Horst, Ben Rowen, Erik Bedard, Ryan Buchter, David Huff, Robert Carson, Jose Alberto Molina, Sergio Santos, Ramon Benjamin, Pat Christianson, Chin-hui Tsao, Matt Carson, Chris Hatcher, and Juan Nicasio. Some of these names will impact the major league team this season, while others will provide depth in the minors.
There are also numerous non-roster invites who will get a look this Spring from the mound including Chris Anderson, Julio Urias and Zach Lee.
Losing Kenley has been the biggest blow this Spring Training, but there are quite a bit of interesting arms to consider this Spring who can be used throughout the season in order to provide reinforcements as needed. That’s not to say that I won’t dread the inevitable Ramon Troncoso comeback which is surely to happen at some point.