The Los Angeles Dodgers enter play Wednesday with a 21-game lead in the National League West standings and 13.5 games ahead of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros for best overall record, which eases some of the sting of having a starting rotation that’s in a bit of flux.
Alex Wood joined Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw on the 10-day disabled list due to a reoccurrence of SC joint inflammation. Darvish worked on his mechanics during a bullpen session this week and is expected to return and start against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Kershaw is making a rehab start for Triple-Oklahoma City on Saturday, and should rejoin the Dodgers rotation by next week’s road series with the San Diego Padres. The aforementioned trio comprises most of the team’s expected rotation come the postseason.
Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy aren’t likely to factor into the equation, but are also on the DL. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said McCarthy is nearing a rehab assignment, while Kazmir remains in Arizona:
Roberts added that Brandon McCarthy (finger blister) is close to beginning a rehab assignment, but Scott Kazmir (lack of velocity) is still throwing simulated games in Arizona with no rehab assignment planned.
McCarthy last pitched for the Dodgers on July 20. He was placed on the disabled list four days later (retroactive to July 21) with a blister on his pitching hand. It’s believed that played a role in the 34-year-old battling command issues in recent starts.
On the year, McCarthy is 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. He faced a similar scenario last season, when a stretch of strong performances was offset by struggles — later revealed to be a case of the yips — which led to the Dodgers audition McCarthy as a reliever before leaving him off the postseason roster.
As for Kazmir, his season has yet to get going. The left-hander was beset by hip trouble during Spring Training and he hasn’t so much as thrown a single pitch for the Dodgers.
Kazmir did make three rehab starts with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, but was dogged by a lack of velocity. He recently was said to be working with a body mechanics specialist in effort to find a solution. Kazmir is owed $18 million next season, the final year of his contract.