The Los Angeles Dodgers took two out of three from the New York Mets right out of the All-Star break, but they're about to approach a gauntlet of a stretch against the Orioles, Rangers, Blue Jays and Reds right before the trade deadline.
It doesn't help that Bobby Miller left Sunday's game with discomfort in his right knee, either. The Dodgers rotation is already thin and the team was banking on a bounce back from the rookie in the second half.
Though Miller said he doesn't think his knee will be an issue, Dodgers fans aren't going to disregard the severity of any injury at this point. Their rotation has constantly been hampered this season with just about everybody going down at different times as the unit has struggled to find consistency.
Miller is expected to make his next start against the Rangers, but fans should be monitoring his status as he readies to pitch against the league's second-best offense. We're not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but Miller has largely struggled since June 17.
After the game, he revealed the knee discomfort has "been off and on," which has us wondering when it started.
Dodgers News: Bobby Miller injury, Max Scherzer trade buzz, Clayton Kershaw
Another note: the Dodgers saw Jason Heyward leave Sunday's game with a neck injury, too. He's considered day-to-day. Thankfully, Chris Taylor was just activated from the IL, so LA has reinforcements if this lasts longer than expected.
Sticking with the events from Sunday, the Dodgers were shut down by old friend Max Scherzer, who has drawn the ire of LA fans ever since his departure after the 2021 season. The right-hander allowed just one hit and three walks over seven scoreless innings in the Mets' 2-1 victory, but it's only led to more questions about New York potentially selling before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
Dodgers Twitter was set ablaze over the weekend when somebody claimed insider David Vassegh said Los Angeles had interest in potentially trading for Scherzer if he was made available and willing to waive his no-trade clause, but that was quickly debunked. Then again, if the Mets are willing to pay a healthy portion of his salary and the Dodgers don't have to take a big hit in the prospect department, is this the worst idea?
Most fans wouldn't be on board for this. The manner in which Scherzer -- as so many have put it -- "quit" on the team in 2021 with his claims of "dead arm," which eventually led to Walker Buehler's overuse and resulting Tommy John surgery, still has the fanbase upset. Not only that, but Scherzer has a ridiculous $43.33 million player option for 2024. That can't be in the cards for the Dodgers if they're serious about making a run for Shohei Ohtani. Also, it's hard to see how a year and a half of Scherzer would elevate the Dodgers to new heights.
He hasn't been good this year (3.99 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 1.18 WHIP) and has choked in so many big spots for the Mets over the last year and a half. Not worth potentially having to inherit over $50 million.
Might Clayton Kershaw's injury and future in LA suggest otherwise, however? Probably not for Scherzer, but definitely for another starting pitcher. Over the weekend it was revealed Kershaw wouldn't be back with the Dodgers until early August, meaning he's over two weeks out.
On top of that, he was once again pressed about his future and said he's unsure what he's going to do after the 2023 season.
Currently dealing with a "weird" shoulder injury, Kershaw appeared as if he'd be making it through 2023 fully healthy, something he hasn't done since 2015. Instead, he'll now miss over a month of action, which will put pressure on a thin rotation that's been downright disappointing this season.
Could the severity and uncertainty of his shoulder injury have him considering retirement? Might he be more comfortable with a change of scenery and departure to the Texas Rangers? Or will he opt to run it back with LA should the front office make massive splashes at this year's deadline and in free agency?
The Dodgers are leading the NL West, but their situation very much feels like it's up in the air right now. In about two weeks, fans will be better informed about their direction for the remainder of 2023, which will dictate their offseason moves.