The Los Angeles Dodgers are on a roll as they’ve won eight of their last 10 games, including a current winning streak of three, and they are 15-5 in the last 20.
The stretch of elite play comes after a slow start, which happened in part due to injuries and multiple players going on paternity leave. Now, the team is getting healthy and finding their rhythm.
Recently, Will Smith, J.D. Martinez and Miguel Rojas have all returned from respective injuries, which puts the Dodgers lineup at full strength.
The pitching staff has dealt with some injuries since the start of Spring Training, most notably to Tony Gonsolin, but he is already back and stretched out. In addition, Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove are on the injured list, but both are considered depth pieces.
In the bullpen, the Dodgers have a few pitchers still recovering on the IL, which includes Jimmy Nelson, Daniel Hudson, Blake Treinen, J.P. Feyereisen and Alex Reyes. Of those five, Nelson and Hudson were expected to be back by now, but neither appears close to making their season debut.
Nelson was expected to earn a spot in the Dodgers bullpen when the club re-signed him to a one-year deal, but he struggled throughout Spring Training and began the season on the 15-day IL with right elbow inflammation.
The 33-year-old began a rehab assignment near the end of April, but he recently stopped throwing.
“He was throwing up until about 10 days ago, and we shut him down,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed. “I think we’ve got to restart that rehab at some point.”
Nelson has been attempting to return since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2021, and it’s been a long process, but Roberts is unsure of the reason Nelson was shut down this time.
“It was something he felt,” Roberts said. “I don’t know specifically, but it was something that caused us to shut him down for a bit.”
Nelson last pitched 29 innings for the Dodgers in the 2021 season, posting a 1.86 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.
As for Hudson, he has been recovering from an ACL tear in his left knee suffered last June.
The original hope was Hudson would be ready for Opening Day of the 2023, but then it was pushed back to near the end of April due to continued issues with knee pain and right ankle tendinitis.
“We expected him to be ready for the season,” Roberts said. “He’s frustrated, but we can still bet that he’s doing everything he can to be ready. Right now, the knee is just not cooperating.”
Hudson is currently on the 60-day IL and can’t return until June, but the timeline may extend beyond that period.
“Still got some scar tissue issues on that left knee,” Roberts said. “I think he’s still throwing. Our hope is that we get him out here just to be with his teammates, but as far as time to return, we’re still down the road. I don’t know what that means.”
Hudson went 2-3 with a 2.22 ERA, 2.05 FIP and 0.90 WHIP over 25 games prior to the knee injury last season.
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