The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course.
The reigning World Series champions had a total of 10 players on the injured list during the shortened 60-game season in 2020. In total, those 10 players spent a combined 248 days on the injured list.
Less than 20 games into the 2021 season, and the Dodgers have already matched last season's cumulative total (if you count Dennis Santana).
As of today's date, injuries have made those 10 players miss a total of 154 days on the IL, totaling over $3 million in salary to injured players.
The biggest blow of course was the announcement on April 5 that 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger was going on the IL with a hairline fracture to his left fibula. Bellinger suffered the injury while trying to beat out an infield single in a 10-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics just five games into the season.
Recently, it's been the Dodgers' position players that have been dropping like flies with Gavin Lux and Zach McKinstry both heading to the IL in recent days. Additionally, Chris Taylor missed three straight games with lower-back tightness, but recorded the Dodgers first pinch-hit of the season in the 6th inning of the team's 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Here are the latest updates on all the Dodgers injuries:
Caleb Ferguson (Tommy John Surgery) – Ferguson felt something in his left elbow on September 15, 2020 against the San Diego Padres. After striking out the first batter he saw, Ferguson knew something was wrong and immediately gestured to the training staff to come out of the dugout. An MRI a day later revealed "a pretty good tear" of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his throwing elbow, requiring Tommy John surgery. "I feel terrible," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said at the time. Ferguson underwent the surgery in Los Angeles a week later and is expected to be out for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Tommy Kahnle (Tommy John Surgery) – Kahnle only pitched one game with the New York Yankees in 2020 before feeling significant discomfort in his right throwing elbow. An MRI revealed a tear in his UCL, and Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery on August 4th. The Yankees outrighted Kahnle in October and he opted for free agency where he signed a two-year contract with the Dodgers. Los Angeles offered the deal with the understanding that Kahnle would be recovering for the entirety of the first year of the contract. Kahnle is expected to miss the 2021 season but be ready in time for spring training of 2022.
Tony Gonsolin (right shoulder inflammation) – After missing out on the fifth and final spot in the Opening Day starting rotation, Gonsolin made the Opening Day roster albeit in the bullpen. However, before throwing a single pitch in the 2021 regular season, Gonsolin felt discomfort in his right shoulder and was placed on the IL retroactive to April 1. He's been rehabbing at the team's secondary site at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, and recently began a throwing program. He has yet to throw off a mound as of the publication of this story.
Joe Kelly (shoulder inflammation) – Kelly began spring training in February unable to pitch and was placed on the IL ahead of Opening Day in Denver, Colorado. After an uncertain timeline to start the season, Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts finally shed some light on when we might see Kelly and his "sulking face" on the mound again. Roberts announced on Saturday that Kelly has been throwing at the alternate site at Camelback Ranch and is on pace to return in early to mid-May.
Cody Bellinger (Hairline fracture in left fibula bone) – As previously mentioned, Bellinger went on the IL on April 6th with a hairline fracture in his left fibula. Initially, Bellinger and the Dodgers believed he had just been spiked on his left calf and would be okay in a few days. X-rays and an MRI revealed nothing, but Bellinger continued to feel a "sharp pain" while running. A CT scan a few days later showed the hairline fracture in the fibula, and Bellinger was placed on the IL indefinitely. On Thursday, April 22, Bellinger told reporters that he's been taking swings in the batting cage, working out, and took live BP as well. He said at this point he has to wait for the bone to completely heal before he will be able to start running again and ultimately return to the lineup.
Zach McKinstry (Right oblique strain) – Outside of Justin Turner, McKinstry has been the Dodgers best hitter to start the season. The rookie has 16 hits, five doubles, three homers, and 14 RBI in just 17 games to begin the 2021 campaign. However, on Thursday, before the four-game series against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, McKinstry experienced pain in his lower back while taking batting practice. McKinstry was scheduled to start the game, but was immediately scratched after experiencing the pain. Later tests revealed an oblique strain that will sideline McKinstry for a minimum of three weeks.
Corey Knebel (Right lat muscle) – Knebel's injury might be the most significant and impactful of all for the Boys in Blue. After a resurgence to start the season, Knebel appeared to have recaptured his All-Star form from the 2017 season when he was the closer for the Milwaukee Brewers. Early in the 2021 season, Dave Roberts showed tremendous trust in Knebel, inserting him into high-leverage situations, including two converted save opportunities. However, after appearing in another pressure-packed situation against the San Diego Padres on Friday, Knebel threw a ball-four breaking ball into the dirt that bounced feet in front of the plate. He immediately grimaced in pain and pointed to his right triceps muscle. Later tests would reveal it was a lat injury, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Saturday that he was placed on the IL and would miss "several months." Roberts finished by saying he believes Knebel will not need surgery and will return to pitch for the team this season. It's likely Knebel will be moved to the 60-day IL at some point.
David Price (right hamstring strain): Price was diagnosed with a grade two hamstring string in his right leg on Monday, April 26. Dave Roberts told reporters early Monday, that Price felt the hamstring strain while pitching in relief against the San Diego Padres on Sunday. There's no set timetable for the strain, but Roberts said Price would miss "at least a few weeks" with the injury.
Dodgers Injury Updates are provided throughout the season.