Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
During the 2021 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have had a streaky season partly since they have had a record number of injuries. When they put Max Muncy with a right oblique strain on the IL Saturday, their offensive production will suffer.
On Friday, just returning from missing 47 games with a hairline fracture in his fibula, Cody Bellinger felt tightness in his hamstring. He has not played since even though the Dodgers have not put him on the IL yet. Hamstring injuries can be tricky. If the Dodgers do not put Bellinger on the IL and he pulls it worse, he can miss more time than he would originally have.
During the last two games, the Dodgers have played without Bellinger, Muncy, and Corey Seager. Before the season began, many baseball-knowledgeable people did not foresee the Dodgers having any offensive slumps. Without their power hitters, the Dodgers will toil to score runs.
This season, through the Major Leagues, injuries are up at least 30 percent after the abbreviated previous season. The injuries have affected the level of play. Although the Dodgers will not make any excuses for their poor play, injuries are what causing the Dodgers to be in second place in the National League Western Division, only one game behind the San Francisco Giants.
While Mookie Betts has not been on the IL, he has played with several nagging injuries that have affected his performance. Over the last week, Betts has shown signs of breaking out of his offensive funk. The Dodgers need Betts to be what the Dodgers saw in 2020.
Chris Taylor has been the most consistent Dodger both offensively and defensively. Yes, he has missed a few games with a sore wrist and stiff back. While playing stellar defense everywhere on the diamond, Taylor has an OPS of .853. Since Dave Roberts is the manager of the National League All-Star team, Taylor probably will be on the team. However, he deserves to be a starter.
Throughout this season, the Dodger starting rotation has been the strength. However, lately Trevor Bauer has struggled with his control and a decreased spin rate. In his first start, Tony Gonsolin was a disaster, and the Dodgers need a reliable fifth starter to be considered as an elite baseball team.
To survive without Seager, Muncy, and Bellinger, the Dodgers need their young 1rplayers, like Zach McKinstry, Gavin Lux, and Luke Raley, to produce, their defense must be stellar, and their pitching needs to be excellent. The Dodgers should be able to do this, particularly when they are facing the soft underbelly of the National League.