So, Los Angeles Dodgers fans, you want to release Craig Kimbrel? Or at least exclude him from the postseason roster? That’s sure going to be hard when there’s a possibility we don’t see Blake Treinen again in 2022!
Once believed to be back for the stretch and postseason, as the timing seemingly was about to work out perfectly, Treinen, after pitching just three innings and being on the shelf from April 15 until Sept. 2, returned on Sept. 3 and then landed back on the IL three days later.
This shoulder issue he’s dealing with is back and nagging him. Treinen spoke to reporters on Tuesday about the issue and was candid, proclaiming that he’s unsure if he’ll be able to return for the postseason despite the endless treatment he’s getting and how hard everyone’s working to help him return to full strength.
It already felt like a longshot for Treinen to return and actually be effective from September on, considering he’s only thrown five innings this year, with two of those coming after April 14. But without the necessary buildup, this scenario needs to be out of sight, out of mind for the Dodgers and their fans.
There should be no false hope concerning Treinen, because even if he were cleared for the playoffs, he’d be hopping into the lion’s den completely raw.
Dodgers fans need to know the ship has sailed on Blake Treinen in 2022
The difficult realization here is that the Dodgers aren’t exactly well-positioned for a seven-game postseason series. Their rotation isn’t deep enough due to the injuries to Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May. The bullpen doesn’t feature a closer and then you have guys floating at the periphery like Tommy Kahnle and Victor González, both of whom have either hardly pitched or not pitched all year, and others like David Price, Yency Almonte and Brusdar Graterol, all of whom haven’t pitched much in the last month or two.
Treinen happens to be behind all of those guys with the exception of Buehler (out until 2024) and May (who just started throwing) in terms of working his way back. Though his talent supersedes everyone else, he’s on a level playing field if he were to enter postseason play without ample game experience.
It also doesn’t sound good that he’s going to “push through” his rehab. Clearly, the shoulder injury has been serious enough to limit him to a grand total of 69 pitches this year. Could rushing/pushing potentially put his status in jeopardy for 2023? It’s probably wise to look at this through a long-term lens, too. That’s a season the Dodgers already have him locked up for, after all.
In the short term, his contributions may not matter or could be downright bad. For the 2023 season, he may not even be around if surgery knocks him out of action.
Like we said, perhaps it’s time to write this off and focus on what’s here and healthy right now.