Hyun-Jin Ryu returns from a back injury, after having 11 days off, on Wednesday as the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.
How great would it be to know what players the Dodgers will have down the stretch and be able to make a guess as to the lineup in the playoffs? That sounds like fun, but with the injury concerns surrounding Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matt Kemp, and Chris Capuano, it is hard to get a grasp at the roster decisions they will make come October.
Ryu has not made a start since Aug. 30 when he beat the Padres with 6.1 innings of one-run ball. His spot was skipped over the last time through the rotation because he was having back pains, but he is expected to start on Wednesday against Arizona.
This is not the first time Ryu has had extended time off. The Dodgers have shuffled the rotation and taken advantage of off-days to skip his spot in the rotation before, giving him six days off twice, as well as nine days and 11 days off.
Between Ryu's health questions, and Ricky Nolasco's success since being acquired in July another question is who you want to start Game Three of the playoffs. Ryu has delivered all season long, but Nolasco was lights-out throughout most of August.
Chris Capuano's status is up in the air as well after getting pulled from his start on Friday with pain in his groin. Don Mattingly gave an update on his progress Tuesday, "Cap(uano) is moving forward, I think he has got dry work tomorrow off the mound, and probably a bullpen the day after if that goes good."
When he returns it is unclear if he will immediately resume his role in the starting rotation, or spend some time in the bullpen. With Ryu and Capuano sidelined it has given the Dodgers a look at Edinson Volquez, who gave up three runs in six innings, taking a no-decision, on Tuesday against Arizona.
Last but not least is the ongoing injury saga of Matt Kemp. His rehab program took a setback last week, and his status was return was listed as indefinite, when his right hamstring flared up. Kemp participated in a simulated game on Tuesday, he took 10 at-bats and hit four home runs.
Mattingly still feels positive about his return. He'd like Kemp to play in 10 to 12 games before playoffs, and he believes that he could be back in time to do so, despite the fact that he has only been taking swings and not running bases.
The pieces are slowly coming together, but it may not be clear who will be on the Dodgers' postseason roster right until the end of the regular season with so many questionable injuries.