As was the case last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have again caught the injury bug early. The result has been a roster that largely differs from what was seen on Opening Day.
With the calendar now turning to May, the Dodgers begin the month with seven pitchers and two position players — everyday players in Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig — on the disabled list. In just the last week, the club has lost right fielder Yasiel Puig to the 15-day DL and Brandon McCarthy for the season due to a UCL tear in his right elbow.
Despite the assortment of injuries, the Dodgers have still managed to win 13 games, which is good for first place in the NL West. While the team is at less than 100 percent, manager Don Mattingly expressed little concern over the multiple injuries, via Pedro Moura of the OC Register:
We’re going to get people back,” Mattingly said. “We’re getting closer every day. We’re no different than any other team. If teams don’t have injuries now, they’re going to.”
Kenley Jansen is expected to begin a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga Friday and is on track to return around the middle of the month. Hyun-Jin Ryu is also progressing in his recovery, but when he’ll return is remains a question mark.
While losing Puig due to a hamstring injury and Carl Crawford because of a torn oblique are notable losses, the Dodgers’ outfield isn’t left barren by any means. Andre Ethier has taken advantage of the unexpected playing time and so too has Alex Guerrero, albeit primarily at third base to this point.
The Dodgers biggest challenge moving forward will be how they fill the holes in their starting rotation. Scott Baker, Mike Bolsinger and David Huff have all made spot starts, with Carlos Frias joining the group Friday and Baker on track to start again Saturday.
Dodgers president of baseball operations and general manager Farhan Zaidi have continued their offseason work of adding depth to the 40-man roster and beyond, and it’s already paid dividends as the club has managed to absorb personnel losses throughout the first month of the season.
Andrew Friedman Discusses Brandon McCarthy’s Injury