Dodgers: 3 players who definitely won’t be back in 2022
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2021 season ended with a thud. They had the highest of expectations coming into this year and, somehow, so many things went wrong once October arrived.
From Clayton Kershaw and Max Muncy going down right before the postseason, to Justin Turner’s poor play then injury exit during the NLCS, to Trevor Bauer and Dustin May missing more than half the year, to the San Francisco Giants coming out of nowhere to win 107 games, the Dodgers did their best to keep pace, but it wasn’t enough.
The offense inexplicably went silent when it mattered most, and that ended up being the difference given how good the pitching and defense were.
And finally, now with the season over, the burning offseason questions the Dodgers were able to ignore by winning 106 games are going to engulf the front office. Guys like Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, and others will hit free agency. What’s the plan with Cody Bellinger? Trea Turner? Joe Kelly?
Time to explore and predict what might happen with some key names.
These three Dodgers definitely won’t be back with the team in 2022.
3. Jimmy Nelson
The Dodgers poached two pitchers formerly of the Brewers this offseason in Jimmy Nelson and Corey Knebel. And both worked out particularly well…
…until Nelson suffered an elbow injury and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in August. The Dodgers signed him to a minor-league contract and he ended up making the roster, posting a 1.86 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in 29 total innings. Really productive!
But he likely won’t pitch in 2022 after his latest procedure and it’s hard to envision the Dodgers taking another chance on Nelson, who’s been held back by injures almost his entire career. Entering his age-33 season, in which he might not even play, coming off Tommy John surgery?
Nelson played a helpful role in a crowded Dodgers bullpen this year, but he won’t be part of this team once he hits free agency in November. And even if LA opts to re-sign him, he won’t be “back” until 2023, in the likeliest scenario.