Monday, August 30, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022
Today, the Los Angeles Dodgers placed their ace Tony Gonsolin on the IL with a forearm strain. While the Dodgers think Gonsolin’s injury early, any time a pitcher has a forearm injury, it is serious. Having Gonsolin on the IL jeopardizes the Dodgers’ success during the postseason.
One good thing about the Dodgers is they have a 19.5-game lead in the National League Western Division over the San Diego Padres. When Clayton Kershaw who had a lower back issue returns from the IL, the Dodgers were planning to go with a six-man starting rotation to give the starters much-needed rest before the postseason. Before the postseason, the Dodgers will be fine without Gonsolin.
For the entire season, the Dodger starting rotation has questions about its durability. Now, as the starting rotation has the lowest ERA of 2.34 in the Major Leagues, they have injury-prone, starters. Will the starters for the postseason?
Before the 2022 regular season began, Walker Buehler was slated to be the Dodger ace, but after pitching the first Major League complete game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in late April, Buehler did not look like his dominating self. After a start in San Francisco on June 10th, Buehler was diagnosed with a forearm strain and underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery to remove a bone chip. The Dodgers hoped Buehler could return in September, but his rehabilitation did not go well. On August 23rd, Buehler underwent the second Tommy John surgery in his professional career and probably will miss the entire 2023 season.
When healthy, Kershaw has been great during the 2022 regular season. Twice, he has taken a perfect game into the seventh inning, and he started the All-Star game. However, twice Kershaw has been on the IL with back problems. On August 4th, he left his start in San Francisco with lower back soreness. Saturday, he pitched a 4-inning game where he was displeased with the effectiveness of his pitches. However, the Dodgers plan to activate Kershaw on either Thursday against the New York Mets or Friday against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers hope Kershaw will remain healthy through the postseason.
Even before spring training began, many Dodger fans worried about Andrew Heaney. The lefthander has had an ordinary career but has been plagued with shoulder problems. He was coming off an ineffective 2021 season with the Angels and the New York Yankees.
When healthy, Heaney with his new slider has been usually effective. Twice, Heaney has had two extended stints on the IL with shoulder inflammation. The Dodgers hope Heaney will be able to last through the postseason.
Julio Urías is arguably the ace of the Dodger starting rotation. Although Urías underwent intensive shoulder reconstructive surgery in June 2017, he has hurled tons of innings during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He has not shown any signs of slowing down, and many people want Urías in the National League Cy Young conversation.
A late free agent signing of Tyler Anderson has been a Godsend to the Dodgers. During his Major-League career, he has been plagued by various injuries, including a stress fracture in his valuable left elbow. As a Dodger, Anderson has been durable and effective. He should be okay for the playoffs.
During the 2022 season, Gonsolin has hurled more innings than at any time in his life. He leads the National League in ERA and tied for most wins in the National League. Any time people hear a pitcher has a problem with his forearm, they panic since most pitchers need Tommy John surgery. However, the Dodgers think Gonsolin will miss only two starts. However, with pitching injuries, nobody knows.
If the Dodgers enter the postseason without the services of Gonsolin, they might be in trouble. In the playoffs, teams need pitching depth to succeed. If the Dodger offense can score five or more runs a game against elite pitching, they will be fine, but according to an old baseball adage, pitching wins championships.
Monday, August 30, 2022