Already dealing with a starting rotation that was patched together due to injuries and slowed recoveries of Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost another starter when Alex Wood was placed on the disabled list May 31.
Wood initially landed on the DL with left triceps soreness that forced a scheduled start to be pushed back three days. He held the Chicago Cubs to two runs on seven hits over five innings, but was unable to shake the discomfort.
A subsequent MRI revealed Wood had a posterior impingement in his left elbow that required four weeks of rest. The plan called for the southpaw to be re-evaluated after that period, which figured to have Wood out until the All-Star Game given the presumed need to build up to a rehab assignment.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, Wood has recovered well enough that he’s slightly ahead of the recovery timetable:
Wood said he had some fluid drained from the elbow and received a cortisone shot. Since then, his inflammation subsided enough that the Dodgers’ training staff cleared him to begin throwing about 31/2 weeks after his last game, May 30 in Chicago.
While there was natural concern over the impingement, Wood clarified the MRI showed his throwing arm, elbow included, was sound:
“It was bad news in terms of the time frame, but it was just inflammation,” Wood said. “There was nothing structurally wrong. Everything looked great — flexor, triceps, UCL — in the MRI.”
Wood went 1-4 with a 3.99 ERA, 3.23 FIP and 1.31 WHIP over 10 starts before landing on the DL. The Dodgers have relied on Julio Urias during his absence, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated Urias will make two more starts before the club needs to decide on his immediate future.
Even before Urias entered the picture for the Dodgers rotation, the organization said they’d be mindful of his workload this season. Urias has thrown a combined 58 innings; 41 with the Dodgers and 17 in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
With McCarthy and Ryu in the midst of completing their respective rehab assignments, and Wood slightly ahead of the schedule, the Dodgers could see the return of three starters either right before or after the All-Star break.
But that’s if everything goes according to plan, which hasn’t been the case for the Dodgers this season.