COMMENTARY | The Los Angeles Dodgers have been hit hard by injuries this year, including bizarre injuries to star players. As it stands now, there are seven players left on the disabled list after Ted Lilly was removed from the DL this week.
Some are expected back soon, while others may not see action until 2014.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez played in just four games after coming back from a torn ligament on his thumb ahead of schedule. Ramirez suffered a strained left hamstring while trying to go from first to third on a single against the San Francisco Giants and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. The Dodgers are being cautious with Ramirez, with manager Don Mattingly saying he will not be rushed back. The Dodgers could be overly cautious after Matt Kemp re-injured his hamstring just two games after coming off the disabled list in July of last year.
Ramirez is available to come off the disabled list anytime now, but he has not been scheduled for a rehab assignment yet.
Utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. was placed on the disabled May 7 (retroactive to May 6) for a strained left groin. However, it is unclear when Hairston will be back on the Dodgers after an MRI revealed he has tendinitis in his left knee, according to L.A. Times beat writer Dylan Hernandez.
He did play in an extended spring training game Monday, tweeted Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
There is no news on how Hairston performed in extended spring training, but no reports of further injuries likely means Hairston will be back on the Dodgers within a couple of weeks, perhaps signalling the end of the road for Luis Cruz.
Reliever Scott Elbert has pitched in two games for the Class AA Chattanooga Lookouts. According to Ken Gurnick, Mattingly says Elbert still needs some more work before coming back to the Dodgers' besieged bullpen. Elbert went on the disabled list March 22 with an elbow injury.
The Dodgers haven't outlined a timetable for his return, but the fact that he is throwing in Class AA likely means he isn't far off from rejoining Los Angeles.
Starting pitcher Josh Beckett was placed on the disabled list retroactive to May 14 with a groin strain. Beckett had struggled before being placed on the DL.
Beckett has another eight days before he is eligible to be taken off the disabled list, but there has been no word on when Beckett will begin a rehab assignment. If the Dodgers' thinking on muscle strains remains consistent, the team will proceed cautiously with his injury and Beckett could miss some time.
Stephen Fife was a replacement for a slew of starting pitcher injuries on the Dodgers. Fife was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 27, retroactive to April 22. Fife has right-shoulder bursitis and has been largely off the radar since going on the disabled list. When Fife finally does come off -- the Dodgers have not announced a timetable -- he will likely find himself back in Class AAA Albuquerque.
Reliever Shawn Tolleson won't be back for the Dodgers anytime soon after having back surgery last month. The reliever went on the 15-day disabled list April 15 with a lower-back injury. He received an epidural injection for a bulging disc in his back on April 17. After having surgery, Tolleson is expected to miss 3-5 months, per True Blue Los Angeles.
Starting pitcher Chad Billingsley has been on the 60-day disabled list since April 25 after having Tommy John surgery for a partially torn ligament in his elbow. Billingsley is out until next year with the injury, one that he had the opportunity to have surgery on last fall. Billingsley decided to attempt to avoid surgery and instead undergo rehab along with an injection of platelet-rich plasma
Matthew Reichbach is a freelance writer and lifelong follower of the Dodgers from their minor league affiliates to the major league club.
You can follow Matthew on Twitter at @3_2count.
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- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Hanley Ramirez
- Scott Elbert
- Josh Beckett
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