Saturday, May 4, 2013

Injuries, injuries, and more injuries continue to hammer the Dodgers

Just when you thought the Dodgers might finally be getting somewhat healthy again, add Hanley Ramirez to the list of the people we won't be seeing for awhile... again.

Playing in only his fourth game since returning from the DL with a torn thumb ligament, Ramirez hurt his hamstring trying to go first to third on a single, and had to be helped off the field.  How bad was it?  Don Mattingly compared it to Matt Kemp's injury to last year, which we all know completely derailed his season.


As a Lakers' fan as well, the Dodgers make that team look healthy.  I never thought I'd see anything quite like I watched this winter and spring with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, and Jodie Meeks all going down at one point or another.  And that's not to mention Dwight Howard never really being healthy, either.

But, I was wrong.  The Dodgers are already looking like an infirmary unit a mere 28 games into the season.  Do the math, and you'll see that only 17% of the season has been played.  Here's what Mattingly and the Dodgers have had to endure this season:

Zach Greinke (broken collarbone, out two months)
Chad Billingsley (Tommy John surgery, out one year)
Scott Elbert (left elbow surgery, return unknown)
Ted Lilly (strained rib cage, return unknown)
Chris Capuano (strained left calf, will return soon)
Stephen Fife (right shoulder bursitis, return unknown)
Shawn Tolleson (lower back surgery, out 3-5 months)

Now you can add in Ramirez to miss another chunk of time after missing about a month with his thumb injury.  Plus there's Adrian Gonzalez getting scratched in recent games with leg and neck injuries.  Mark Ellis is nursing a sore quad, and could quite possibly be heading to the DL.  Carl Crawford is working through a hamstring strain and has missed three games, but did pinch-hit on Friday.

Kemp hasn't missed a game this year, but has only one homer and five doubles.  In other words, it's obvious that he's trying to work through the bad shoulder that he had surgically repaired last season.  Very Dwight Howard-like it seems.  Commendable that he's playing, but a concern that the numbers aren't close to what they could be.

Any team that goes through injuries like this is bound to struggle some.  But for a team that has a sky-high payroll and expectations, and a paper-thin bench, the Dodgers feel the sting of these injuries even more.  I can tell you this: nobody feels sorry for them.  They traded for the big names last season, signed a couple of big names this offseason, and practically declared this season World Series or bust.  So far, bust is winning.

At some point, you would hope, the Dodgers will get healthy bodies back on the field at once.  Maybe not completely healthy, but more than they are right now.  I guess all they can do is try to hold serve and pray nothing else goes wrong.  Can you imagine if guys like Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen also go down?  Yikes.  Can't help but wonder now.

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