The Dodgers are enjoying a much needed off-day today. After losing yesterday 6-2 at Goodyear park, to the Cincinnati Reds, the Dodgers are licking their wounds as they return home to Camelback Ranch for the day. The big question now has turned into, Can the Dodgers stay healthy enough just to start the season? There wasn’t much good news yesterday in Dodger town. Sure Josh Beckett looked good during his 4.1 innings yesterday, but otherwise that was it. The Dodgers have many things to consider before the season begins on April first.
It never fails that as the season draws near, the Dodger injuries begin to mount. For whatever reason, the Dodgers just can’t seem to keep their players healthy. But why? Somehow the evil Giants have figured out the answer. They have somehow figured out how to keep their players healthy. They did it last year, while more than half of the Dodger roster was on the disabled list. Is it their conditioning programs? Better Training staff? Or is it just plain old bad luck?
Whatever reason you want to believe, the Dodgers just seem to have a harder time keeping their players healthy. I’m not just saying that because of Zack Greinke’s elbow problem, but because of the team’s history with injuries. For a while everything seemed ok, but now, multiple injuries are threatening to make opening day a lot more difficult.
1. The flu bug. – First it was the flu bug, that yet again, worked it’s way through Camelback Ranch this spring. It struck again yesterday, this time hitting Adrian Gonzalez, who had to leave early after just two at-bats because he had the flu. We all remember what that dam little bug did to Clayton Kershaw on opening day. We do not want that to happen again.
2.The groin strain. If you remember, last year was the season of the hamstring pull. This year, it is the year of the groin strain apparently. Yes that’s right, multiple Dodgers have experienced the groin strain. Chad Billingsley, Javy Guerra, and Justin Sellers, have all had the very annoying groin pull. I don’t know what it is with the groin pulls this spring. By the way, Chad Billingsley is pitching a simulated game this afternoon to test his sore groin area.
3.The sore elbow. Now the sore or stiff elbow is dominating Dodger camp. First it was Carl Crawford and his surgically repaired left elbow. Crawford still isn’t ready to play or face live pitching yet, although he has finally started to hit off of a tee. He started that a few days ago, and is still doubtful for opening day. He isn’t slated to miss much time, but it is possible he could still miss the first few weeks of the season.
Greinke has joined the sore elbow club, and believe me this is a club you don’t want to join. We are kind of in the wait and see pattern with Greinke’s injury. We still don’t know how much time he may miss, but manager Don Mattingly seems to think it’s minimal. So far it is only some inflammation and as far as we know, Greinke should start throwing again after a few days of rest. This may turn out to not be as bad as everyone originally thought. After all, all pitchers get sore arms and elbows and shoulders. Even during spring. Besides Greinke has said he has experienced soreness like this before during spring training. Is that all it is though? Only time will tell us.
You can also add Billingsley to the sore elbow club. I think we forget that his elbow could snap at any moment. So far his arm has been fine this spring, fortunately, but you never know. It’s a worry we will all have at the back of our mind throughout the season. In the meantime he is also in the sore groins club. Better his groin than his arm right?
4. We can also add Scott Elbert in the mix of having elbow problems. Well actually, Elbert has elbow problems every season. This time he is recovering from yet another elbow surgery, and isn’t expected to be back until May at the earliest. He has resumed his throwing program.
We can only pray that this ends the long list of injuries. Actually the funny thing is, this is still less injuries than the team had last season. The team does have a new head trainer in Sue Falsone. Of course we can’t blame her for the piles of injuries. There were more injuries than this well before she came aboard. I pose the question to you guys. Why do the Dodgers have so much trouble keeping their players healthy? Do you think it’s a problem with their conditioning? Is it their trainers and team physicians? Or just bad luck?
The Dodgers return home to resume their Cactus league schedule. They will play the Cubs tomorrow afternoon at Camelback Ranch at 1:05 PM. Left hander Chris Capuano will take the mound for the Boys in Blue. With the injuries to Birdman, and Billingsley, it looks like we may need Capuano after all.
So while we are enjoying a much needed day off, I would like to pose some more questions in a poll below. Which Dodger injury has you the most concerned? Is it Greinke’s elbow? Carl Crawford? Matt Kemp’s shoulder? Or is it Chad Billingsley’s elbow? Lot’s of elbows in there. Let us know what you think and make your voice heard. Enjoy the time off Dodger fans, and we will see you tomorrow.