Friday, May 13, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022
The Los Angeles Dodgers put Clayton Kershaw on the IL. He has an inflamed SI joint, which is located in the pelvis.
The Dodgers are in the stretch of playing thirty games in thirty-one days, so they need reliable pitching. So far this season, Kershaw has been the Dodgers’ best starter. While he is the Dodger franchise’s best pitcher, Kershaw has a long history of back injuries, and having the inflamed SI joint is the latest. The silver lining of his current injury is not in his arm. If everything goes well, Kershaw can return to the active roster on May 24th.
Going into the 2022 regular season, most baseball-knowledgeable people were worried about the Dodger starting rotation. So far this season, the starting rotation has been a strength. After a slow start, Walker Buehler has been excellent. Julio Urías has had his ups and downs after pitching career-high innings in the 2021 season. After making three terrific starts coming off a poor 2021 performance, Andrew Heaney went on the IL with shoulder inflammation, and no one knows when Heaney will return to the rotation.
Entering his fourth Major-League season, Tony Gonsolin has earned a spot in the Dodger starting rotation. Despite not having many control problems in both the 2019 and abbreviated 2020 seasons, Gonsolin has struggled to land his pitches for strikes, resulting in high pitch counts. When Gonsolin pitches, the Dodgers must rely on their fabulous bullpen for many innings. The Dodgers need to conserve their bullpen usage in the current grueling stretch, particularly without Blake Treinen. Since the beginning of the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Dodger bullpen has faltered. If the Dodgers want to remain at the top of the National League Western Division, the best division in the Major Leagues, they must have a superb bullpen. A weary bullpen does not perform well; therefore, manager Dave Roberts must use his bullpen sparingly to have success later in the season.
Despite Thursday’s start against the Philadelphia Phillies when he allowed seven runs, Tyler Anderson has performed well in a Dodger uniform. The Dodgers acquired Anderson after spring training began. Unlike most Dodger pitchers, Anderson is not a flamethrower. He is a master of “junk.” Hopefully, Anderson will rebound from his horrible start but pitching six innings conserved the bullpen.
The Dodgers must find a starter to replace Kershaw in their starting rotation, but they have many options in the Dodger Minor League system. Wednesday, Ryan Pepoit made his first Major-League start and went three scoreless innings, but he either had control problems or did not trust his stuff. Andre Jackson and Mitch White, who have a little Major-League experience, can make starts. Many Dodger fans want to see the highly awaited Major-League debut of Bobby Miller, but he might not be ready.
For the first time this season, the Dodger depth is tested. If they cannot survive Kershaw’s injury, they will not go far this season. Every baseball team experiences injuries, and many baseball-knowledgeable people have worried about the health of pitchers after an abbreviated spring training. The baseball world will watch how the Dodgers will handle their pitching injuries.
Friday, May 13, 2022