The Los Angeles Dodgers have been dealing with a multitude of injuries within the pitching staff, which has made them rely on their depth while asking others to step into larger and more important roles.
Among their injured pitchers are Andrew Heaney and Tommy Kahnle, who were both having encouraging starts to their seasons and looked like they who would become key members of the staff.
Heaney began experiencing left shoulder discomfort after just two starts and 10.1 scoreless innings, which caused him to end up on the 10-day injured list on April 20.
The left-hander has been making progress toward his return and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Heaney threw a second bullpen session with encouraging results, via SportsNet LA:
“It was right around 30 pitches; fastball, slider, changeup, kind of sat 90 (mph), touched 92 (mph). Really good. Said he felt good coming out of it. I’m assuming there’s going to be another ‘pen before we face hitters, but just to know we’re taking a big step forward is encouraging.”
Since Roberts’ comments, Heaney has thrown a second bullpen session during the Dodgers’ road trip.
Kahnle was placed on the 15-day IL due to right forearm inflammation on May 17 and it’s the second time this season he’s spent time on the IL. After Spring Training, he was put on the injured list when the Dodgers set their Opening Day roster and spent April on a rehab assignment.
Kahnle is now going to miss quite a bit of time as his MRI reveled a bone bruise in his right elbow, Roberts said:
“I think it was related to the (Tommy John) surgery that he had, so it was certainly disappointing to hear that. He’s in Arizona resting, and it’s going to be a while, weeks, before he picks up a baseball again. We’re expecting to have him back at some point in time, but certainly just disappointing with all he’s had to overcome to get back here.”
Kahnle has appeared in four games for the Dodgers and although his ERA was inflated by one poor outing, he was establishing himself as a high-leverage reliever for Roberts.
Clayton Kershaw’s return to Dodgers delayed
The Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day IL on May 8 and thus was eligible to be activated next week. But after missing a scheduled bullpen session on Wednesday, Roberts indicated some uncertainty lies ahead.
“Just kind of where he’s at right now, he doesn’t feel — well, we don’t feel — that it makes any sense. So I don’t know when the next go at this will be,” Roberts said. “But I don’t see it in the next few days at the minimum.”
Although there has been lingering soreness following an epidural to alleviate pain in the lower back, Roberts noted Kershaw is not shut down.
“He’ll continue to play catch and stretch it out to then where we feel that he can get on the mound. So I just don’t know where that’s at. I think the initial plan was to have him play catch and be ready to go ‘pen [Wednesday], and we’re just not there yet.”
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