Dodgers Injuries: So…About That Pitching Depth


After the Dodgers suffered injuries to both their catchers this week, there was another potentially devastating injury to their pitching staff on Tuesday night in Atlanta. The east coast road trip has been very odd so far with a suspended game in Washington D.C., injuries to A.J. Ellis and Yasmani Grandal, Juan Uribe‘s revenge, a Don Mattingly ejection and an unfortunate Achilles tendon injury to starter Brett Anderson early in the frustrating 4-3 loss to the Braves (the second frustrating loss in Atlanta in as many days). So…about that pitching depth.

Of course the Dodgers pregame show on SportsNet LA was full of references to Brett Anderson‘s unlikely healthy and successful season for the Dodgers on Tuesday. There was no way to predict such a fluky injury even if Anderson’s career was full of fluky injuries, and anyone claiming to have predicted it would be wrong. The lefty had to leave the game in the bottom of the third inning with what the Dodgers described as “irritation in his left Achilles tendon area.” The injury was sustained when Anderson tried to field a chopper off the bat of Johnny Gomes and ended up kicking it out of fair territory with his shin.

The injury to Anderson comes at a really bad time since the Dodgers were already without a scheduled starter for Saturday in New York. Don Mattingly had already said that Carlos Frias won’t be an option to start on Saturday, and he will continue with his rehab assignment. Zach Lee could finally get a much deserved start on Saturday after being called up briefly but not pitching for the Dodgers in one game before being optioned right back down to triple-A Oklahoma City the very next morning.

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Of course Don Mattingly could go with another bullpen game. After he had to use four relievers in Tuesday’s game (Tsao, Baez, Peralta and Howell) and with five more games on the road trip, that solution seems less than ideal.

Brandon Beachy, who surprisingly has three option years left, was sent down to OKC to work on things after having a rough second outing since coming back from his second Tommy John surgery. Beachy, who may be back with the Dodgers at some point this season, seemed frustrated to not get back into a groove yet after not pitching for such a lengthy time in the majors. There is another name you may have not thought of…

In case you have forgotten, the Dodgers also have Trevor Cahill in the wings whom they picked up two weeks ago as insurance for times like this. I hope I was wrong, but I wrote that Trevor Cahill is totally going to be a Dodger. Cahill has only pitched 4 2/3 innings in 3 games between Rookie Arizona, single-A Rancho Cucamonga and triple-A Oklahoma City. He has allowed 1 run on 2 hits with 3 strikeouts and a walk good for a 1.93 ERA during that small sample size. I’m not sure Cahill is shaped up and ready to pitch in the major leagues again, but if should Anderson land on the D.L., the former Snake may just have to make his Dodger debut.

With the trade deadline just 10 days away, the price for starting pitching for the Dodgers may have just gone up on the heels of the Anderson injury. One Johnny Cueto or one Cole Hamels may not even be enough if Anderson is out for any length of time. The Dodgers have been extremely lucky thus far to be in first place in the N.L. West after two thirds of their starting rotation was decimated early in the season. Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias pitched admirably over the first half for the Dodgers, but now with Anderson potentially losing time, things suddenly have become urgent.

Brett Anderson has made 19 starts for the Dodgers, the most since he started 19 games for the A’s back in 2010.