Injuries are already starting to pile for the Dodgers this Spring. Some key players on the Dodgers’ roster are nursing some early season injuries as they get ready for Opening Day.
This is no surprise for Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts. The team broke the MLB record for 28 Disable List transactions last season and this year is not off to a great start. The Dodgers have some key players with ailing injuries.
Justin Turner received a lubricating injection into his arthritic left knee. It’s concerning because Turner had micro-fracture surgery on the same knee during the 2015 offseason. The injections are made out to be precautionary and Turner is expected to return to early next week. Turner was able to stay healthy for the greater part of last season. Out of all the players on the roster, perhaps Turner and Seager are the two that the Dodgers can’t be without this season.
Turner received a lubricating injection into his arthritic left knee. It’s concerning because Turner had micro-fracture surgery on the same knee during the 2015 offseason. The injections are made out to be precautionary and Turner is expected to return to the lineup early next week according to Ken Gurnick. Turner was able to stay healthy for the greater part of last season. Out of all the players on the roster, perhaps Turner and Seager are the two that the Dodgers can’t be without this season.
Corey Seager has been sidelined since the beginning of spring training dealing with a bruised shin and a stiff back. Dave Roberts and Seager have downplayed the significance of the injury and consider it precautionary. But it’s still concerning to see the best two offensive players nursing injuries this early in the season.
To add insult to injury Adrian Gonzalez has also only played 1 game with the Dodgers. Gonzalez was battling elbow inflammation to start off Spring Training. The injury shouldn’t be anything serious but it kept Gonzalez from swinging the bat during camp. Gonzalez spoke about the injury and his spring training debut.
"“My swing’s fine,” Gonzalez said. “I was just trying to get a few at-bats before I head out, and today was a good start. They weren’t that great of at-bats, but they were productive, I guess. The fact that everything feels good is all that really matters right now.”"
Adrian Gonzalez left the team earlier this week to compete in the World Baseball Classic.
The rotation also took a hit on Monday when Scott Kazmir was pulled from his Cactus League start after only throwing 14 pitches. He was pulled due to a tight right hip. Again, the Dodgers aren’t too concerned with the hip tightness, but unfortunately, this is an injury Kazmir dealt with last season.
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Luckily, when he had an MRI on Tuesday it came back negative which is very good news. Hopefully, this is just a case where Kazmir needs to figure out a more thorough stretching routine before games to loosen up better. Roberts does want to hold off Kazmir from making another start for about a week.
He threw a bullpen session on Wednesday, which Roberts said went well.
Where they go from there will depend on how his backfield pitching performances turn out.
Pedro Baez is also another Dodger who has landed himself on the injury list this spring. He’s yet to make his Spring Training debut. Baez was injured during live batting practice, he was hit by a comebacker on his right thumb. Because of this injury, Baez has put practice and pitching on hold. The Dodgers do have more tests scheduled for him, and Roberts isn’t particularly worried about Baez. He does believe there is still a chance Baez can be ready to be in the bullpen on Opening Day.
With all of these injuries piling up for the Dodgers, we do still at least have some positives with Ethier and Ryu holding up well in Spring Training.
Andre Ethier has had quite an impressive during spring training. After fouling a ball off of his shin last spring he missed almost all of 2016. Ethier is doing everything he can to earn his starting spot back. He has a .375 average and has shown tremendous hustle running the bases. He also has six walks and only one strikeout. Unfortunately, Ethier did remove himself from the game on Monday due to having a sore back. But Ethier does hope to make his return to the Cactus League on Sunday, which is a good sign it’s most likely nothing serious.
Another great sign coming out of Camelback is Hyun-Jin Ryu making his debut. Ryu made his first start for the Dodgers on Saturday against the Angels, throwing two scoreless innings. He struck out two batters and only gave up one hit. Ryu missed practically all of 2016, only making one start which was disappointing, to say the least. Ryu had to get shoulder surgery after keeping the injury under wraps for quite some time. After such a solid start, the Dodgers are hoping he can continue to pass the tests throughout spring so he can be ready when Opening Day comes around.
Spring Training has already shown us some positives but also some negatives. Hopefully, none of these injuries are serious and the Dodgers can have a healthy roster this year and make a run at the World Series.