Although the Los Angeles Dodgers are having an incredible season, I'm worried we're seeing an increasing list of key players added to the team's disabled list. On June 19, the team was shut out by the Oakland A's in a miserable symphony of poor pitching from Aaron Harang, bad fielding by the Dodgers' outfield and a complete lack of hitting.
After the miserable performance against the A's, I wanted to take a look at the Dodgers' injury report and see exactly where Matt Kemp and the other missing Dodgers were in terms of making a return to the team. According to the Dodgers' official injury report on dodgers.com, here's a look at the status of the top five most-missed injured players:
Matt Kemp - CF
I think Matt Kemp is the most-missed player here and we've been lucky the team's doing as well as it has been without him. To me, the A's game shows the worst case scenario as to what can happen in his absence. Kemp re-injured his left hamstring and has been out since May 31. He has already been working out with the team and I think we will see him come back after the All Star break and possibly even play in the All Star game.
Ted Lilly - P
To me, Lilly is the second-most missed player in this list. He's an experienced pitcher, who first played in The Show in 1999 and came to the Dodgers in 2010. He's spent some time back in the minors but came back to the Dodgers in 2011, winning 12 but losing 14 games, with a 3.97 ERA. Left-hander Lilly has a left shoulder inflammation and is expected to return to the lineup as early as the week of June 18.
Mark Ellis - 2B
The Dodgers just can't seem to find a good, permanent second baseman, although I think Ellis' replacement Adam Kennedy has been doing a good job. Ellis had lower left leg surgery after a ligament strain and will be back working out with the team during the June 19-27 road trip, with a return possible in late July or early August.
Javy Guerra - P
I think the Dodgers' bullpen is also really feeling the loss of Guerra. In his second year with the team, I think he's one of the young guns that have become the backbone of the Dodgers pitching and with him out, it's another tool missing from Don Mattingly's toolbox. Guerra is due back in July, after a right knee injury and is expected to travel to San Francisco with the team on June 25.
Rubby De La Rosa - P
I remember first seeing De La Rosa pitch in 2011 during Spring Training, when he played as a non-roster prospect, beating the then-World Champion San Francisco Giants 6-3, and holding them hitless for four innings. I wrote about him then and held out hope he would become a Dodger star. He was sidetracked by injury, needing Tommy John surgery, which he had in 2011. De La Rosa may return in September and is rehabbing in XST (extended spring training).
Freddy Sherman grew up in Philadelphia, which didn't make being a Los Angeles Dodgers fan easy. He has lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, now able to follow the Dodgers openly and attends games frequently. You can follow him on Twitter -@thefredsherman.
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