Dinged Up Dodgers: The Hamstring Dilemma

The Los Angeles Dodgers roster has been a merry-go-round this year, with injuries piling up among many of the team’s key players. The latest Dodger to miss time due to injury is the red hot Carl Crawford. Crawford previously missed a large portion of the season due to a torn oblique, and is now struggling with what seems to be an epidemic in Los Angeles – yet another hamstring injury.

Fortunately, the recent acquisition of Justin Ruggiano, along with September call-ups Corey Seager and Scott Schebler, have allowed the Dodgers to maintain a stranglehold on the division despite so many starters going down.

However recent hamstring injuries to Howie Kendrick, Yasiel Puig, and Enrique Hernandez have served to stir up more than a few questions as to why this type of injury has become so common in Los Angeles. The number of similar injuries even has Mark Saxon of ESPN jesting:

Earlier this month when Hernandez went down Saxon more formally discussed the issue with Don Mattingly. According to Saxon’s article Mattingly had this to say on the flurry of hamstring issues:

I’ve been with different teams over the years, and sometimes it’s the obliques,” Mattingly said. “This year, for us, it’s the hamstrings that have cost us.”

Mattingly went on to say:

the Dodgers’ medical staff is undergoing an internal review to ‘evaluate themselves and make sure they’re not missing anything.’

Though it is difficult to prevent these types of injuries from happening, there seems to be a troubling increase in such injuries for the Dodgers this year. At this point perhaps an external review over the medical staff would be beneficial in order to find ways to insure subsequent hamstring injuries are kept to a minimum.

Fortunately the Dodgers have been able to overcome the myriad of injuries this season thanks to their organizational depth, but the key players will need to get healthy come October in order to really contend. One can only hope that the Dodgers are over the injury hump and can get healthy before the post season begins.