The Los Angeles Dodgers have started this season battling multiple injuries with nine total players currently on the disabled list including some of their top talent. Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, was the latest to be put on the 10-day Disabled List with tendinitis in his bicep. This comes days after the Dodgers star shortstop Corey Seager will miss the remainder of the season to undergo Tommy John surgery for a UCL injury.
Right before the 2018 season began, third baseman Justin Turner suffered a broken wrist and is still ailing his wrist and has not played regular season baseball for the Dodgers yet in 2018. Turner’s replacement at third base Logan Forsythe suffered a shoulder injury and was placed on the disabled list for shoulder inflammation as well.
Not only has the infield taken a big hit with injuries, but their pitching staff is hurting as well, along with Kershaw they have other starters on the disabled list right now. Hyun-Jin Ryu, was put onto the disabled list with a left groin strain on May 3rd. Rich Hill is also on the disabled list having inflammation in his throwing hand.
Injuries are the Dodgers biggest competitor right now, they are eight games back of first place in the National League East division. General Manager Andrew Friedman has not written this season off, he said,”Obviously, it’s been tough, but injuries are part of the game, and we’ve seen this team respond to adversity in years past when others had written us off. And we expect to do the same thing.” The Dodgers are 15-20 right now, are not where they would like to be, but there could be a spark looming for the Dodgers to overcome this injury bug and kick it into gear.
Despite the injuries, Los Angeles threw a combined no-hitter on May 4th against the San Diego Padres. Starter, Walker Buehler threw six no-hit innings to get the win, relief appearances came from Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia, and Adam Liberatore who each pitched one inning. This was the first combined no-hitter ever thrown by the Dodgers. This was a big help for the Dodgers to get a good appearance out of Walker Buehler who will remain in the rotation after three dominant starts and due to the injuries.
The spark that they could look at would be a shortstop to replace Seager for the year. The Baltimore Orioles are shopping Manny Machado and he could be a great acquisition to help the Dodgers contend for a playoff spot. He is currently hitting .346 with 9 homers and 27 RBI’s while also in a contract year meaning he will be a free agent at the end of this year so the Dodgers could simply use him to contend this year and let him walk. Machado’s contract could be too much for the Dodgers to afford as they attempt to stay under the luxury tax.
Keeping LA under the luxury tax, there are multiple other shortstops they could target such as Jose Iglesias, Elvis Andrus, and Alcides Escobar. All there of these players are in contract years and each of their respective teams is looking to move them. For the Detroit Tigers, Jose Iglesias is batting .223 with 8 RBI’s. Elvis Andrus is batting .327 with 5 RBI’s for the Texas Rangers while Escobar is batting .229 with 7 RBI’s for the Kansas City Royals. These shortstops could provide an extra boost for the Dodgers with the strong bat of Seager being out for the year and having Turner still ailing that wrist injury, any extra bat in the lineup would only be helpful for the Dodgers to compete.
The Dodgers have been plagued with injuries to start off this season, but do not count them out as they look to bounce back strong and contend for a division title. It is only May and it is too early to count anyone out, the injuries are bad but time will only help the Dodgers as their stars get healthy. There are multiple moves the Dodgers could make to add players that will help the Dodgers contend and be competitive in their division this season and endure all the injuries until their players are healthy again.