The Los Angeles Dodgers season has been filled with one injury after another. It began with Clayton Kershaw landing on the disabled list after just his first start and it’s spanned the season’s length with Juan Uribe the latest Dodger to suffer an injury.
Along the way, Josh Beckett, Carl Crwaford Hanley Ramirez, Chris Perez, Hyun Jin Ryu (twice) and Uribe (now twice) have spent time on the 15-day DL. Despite the litany of injuries, the Dodgers are in first place in the National League West and hold the best record in the NL, though by a slim margin.
Justin Turner started at third base on Saturday, as he did earlier this season when Uribe was sidelined by a hamstring injury, and he’ll likely continue to do so the second time around. A.J. Ellis spoke of Turner’s contributions and other Dodgers who have stepped in to fill the void left by injuries to key players, via Andy Kamenetzky on ESPN LA:
We do a good job, when these situations arise, of picking up the slack,” A.J. Ellis said. “There’s guys who are able to step in and do that. Justin Turner did it earlier in the year when Juan was beat up, and we have all the confidence in the world he’ll do it again. He’s kind of been an unsung MVP on the offensive side for this team with the work he’s done this entire season filling in and spot-starting. Guys in the rotation have stepped up. The acquisitions that our front office made, with Roberto [Hernandez] and Kevin [Correia], are gonna be veteran guys that can pick up starts for us while we wait for Hyun-Jin to get back. We’re piecing together our bullpen and getting the right mixture down there, and we’re gonna be just fine.”
Adrian Gonzalez also expressed confidence in the Dodgers ability to move forward by plugging a player in:
We have a lot of guys who can produce,” he said. “We got guys on the bench that can produce, guys that would be starting for other teams. So when a guy goes down, we’re really not necessarily losing a guy — we’re going to a different guy.”
Although the Dodgers have been snakebit by injuries, they’ve been fortuante enough to generally avoid season-ending situations. Paul Maholm thus far is the only player who won’t return this year, however Beckett is another possibility.
With approximately six weeks remaining in the regular season, the Dodgers have enough time to get healthy prior to postseason play beginning. The challenge in that of course is not once have the Dodgers been able to get everyone back from their respective injuries.
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