On Thursday, the NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies lost one of their key pieces for the entire 2023 season before it even began. First baseman Rhys Hoskins suffered a torn ACL on a routine defensive play and will require surgery.
The Los Angeles Dodgers know that game all too well, as they dealt with Gavin Lux tearing his ACL much earlier in the spring while he was running to third base on a ground ball. But that DAMNED World Baseball Classic!
If Lux's injury wasn't enough of a lesson for the Dodgers, perhaps the Phillies' situation with Hoskins could open up some eyes in LA's front office.
It's a tale of two very different scenarios. The Dodgers lost Lux, and their starting lineup and depth took a hit they couldn't really absorb. Hoskins went down and, well, the Phillies have some insurance in the form of ... multiple blockbuster signings.
They added Kyle Schwarber last offseason and Trea Turner this offseason. There's some flexibility too, since Schwarber and Alec Bohm can play first base and others such as Bryson Stott and Edmundo Sosa who can move around the infield.
Dodgers should learn lesson from Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins injury
The Phillies decided to upgrade even more after their World Series appearance this past October. And the loss of a key player doesn't exactly put them in a perilous situation because they added elite offensive firepower without concerns over the cost.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, have either downgraded or made middling additions the last three offseasons and will now possibly face the toughest of consequences. Lux's injury forced Miguel Rojas into the starting SS role with Chris Taylor as the backup (not exactly what you want). They also lack formidable depth up and down the roster after possessing two of the deepest teams in the league back in 2020 and 2021.
This offseason, the Dodgers let Turner, Tyler Anderson, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Chris Martin and others walk. The offseason prior it was Corey Seager, Max Scherzer, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly and Corey Knebel. The offseason before that was Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez and Jake McGee.
For the second most valuable organization in the sport, the Dodgers really haven't acted like it. Capitalizing on Freddie Freeman was great, but he fell into their lap. The Trevor Bauer signing was a disaster in every way, but they opted not to right that wrong and instead curbed the spending despite accessibility to many upper-echelon players.
The Phillies have opened up their pockets and made large or long-term investments without hesitation, which has tilted the scales in the NL and should keep them competitive this coming season.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are hoping Shohei Ohtani signs the dotted line with them next offseason. Because if he doesn't, then this will all have been a gigantic waste of time that could set the team back years.