Dodgers blindside fans with long-term IL stint for promising young righty

Mar 2, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kyle Hurt (63) on the mound in the
Mar 2, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kyle Hurt (63) on the mound in the / Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Despite initial projections that the Dodgers' bullpen would be a lot better to start the 2024 season than they were to start 2023, things just haven't shaken out that way. Key members of the relief core — Joe Kelly, Ryan Brasier, Alex Vesia, Michael Grove — have been shaky and unpredictable, and the early losses of Brusdar Graterol and Blake Treinen to injury have led to a constant cycle of experimentation with relievers.

Kyle Hurt, the Dodgers' No. 6 prospect, has already been called up twice as part of that experimentation. He traveled to Korea with the team for the Seoul Series and was on the Opening Day roster, but despite a 1.93 ERA over almost five innings, he was optioned back to Triple-A on March 31 in favor of former Padres bullpen favorite turned Dodgers NRI Nabil Crismatt.

Less than a month later, history is sort of repeating itself with an unfortunate twist this time. Crismatt was called up from Triple-A again ahead of Saturday's game against the Blue Jays, and Hurt was moved to the 60-day IL from the 15-day IL, where he was initially placed on April 20 with shoulder inflammation.

Nabil Crismatt called up again; Kyle Hurt transferred to Dodgers' 60-day IL

With Hurt's transfer, the Dodgers now have six pitchers on the 60-day IL. Many of them — Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin — were expected to either start late or not start at all, but Emmet Sheehan, Graterol, and Hurt have been unwelcome surprise additions. Grove has taken up something of a permanent spot, but the last roster spot has already seen multiple players cycle through.

The Dodgers might have already established themselves a pattern at this point: first Hurt, now Crismatt — going off of history, we have reason to believe Dinelson Lamet is bound to be next despite how Crismatt's appearances actually go.

Losing Hurt is another blow to the Dodgers pitching staff, who haven't budged from the lower-middle standing in bullpen ERA over the past few weeks and have just seemed off-kilter no matter what they've tried.

Nick Ramirez, who's been mostly spotless for the Dodgers since he was called up on April 14, was also sent back to the minors in favor of Crismatt. He's bound for a return if the Dodgers keep this pattern up.