The Dodgers have been blindsided by injury after injury this season. All-Stars and former MVPs have all missed extended time for a myriad of reasons. But perhaps no place has been hit harder than the pitching staff.
One key reliever, Corey Knebel, missed more than 90 games while recovering from a lat strain suffered in April. The right-handed pitcher made his return this week and immediately got into action. Corey allowed a hit and walked a batter while striking out 2 while recording 2 outs. For him, it was a perfect first game back.
“I was on the IL for 80 or 90 days; we took our time to make sure that it was full go, fully healthy,” Knebel said. “I think everything now it’s just kind of move forward, not think about it.”
After missing all that time, Knebel knows that the Dodgers are looking to rely heavily on him down the stretch. But he’s also looking to prove himself that he’s ready to go and to bring it into the postseason.
“I’m kind of like the freshest guy in this bullpen right now, so to be able to give some of these guys breaks, Blake [Treinen] and Kenley [Jansen], all these guys have been throwing a lot. To be able to come in and give them a little rest, and then of course for myself, it’s kind of crunch time. I have to make that I’m ready to go into October, too. I think it will be beneficial for all of us.”
The Dodgers traded for Knebel this past offseason in an effort to bolster the back end of the bullpen. In 9 games this season, the reliever has a 4.05 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched.