The Dodgers are on the verge of acquiring a really big arm within the coming weeks. It won’t be done via the trade deadline and it won’t come courtesy of a free-agent deal. Instead, they will turn to their own roster health improvement to drastically change the makeup of their bullpen.
Corey Knebel went down with a major lat strain early on in the season. The Dodgers were able to move on without him, but his potential in the back end of the bullpen completely changes their look. Having a fresh Knebel for the postseason could end up being a huge advantage.
And it turns out that Knebel is VERY close to a return. The Dodgers are going to send him on a rehab assignment by early next week, and it sounds like he won’t need long to rejoin the team. Dave Roberts spoke about it on Thursday and noted how big of a deal that was.
It’s going to be a new trade chip, an acquisition, a guy who’s been through pennant races, pitched in postseason games. When (other pitchers) are taxed, logging innings, to get (Knebel) back fresh is something we’re excited about.
Knebel only pitched 6 innings before his injury, but he struck out 9 batters and looked very sharp. The Dodgers reliever noted that he wanted to make sure he was 100 percent ready and able to go on back-to-back days before joining the big league squad.
If the Dodgers can get back Knebel at some point in August, he will have plenty of time to ramp up to postseason form. And it sounds like that is very close to happening.