The Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff has been the best in baseball to start the 2022 season and they are likely to add even more talent at some point this season as players return from various injuries.
Through their first 18 games, their pitching staff has posted a combined 2.21 ERA, by far the lowest in baseball. Dodgers starting pitchers have an MLB-best 2.16 ERA and their bullpen is at a 2.28 ERA, which is third overall.
This has all come without the help of Dustin May, Tommy Kahnle, Victor González, Caleb Ferguson and Jimmy Nelson, who have yet to go through a pitch this season. More recently the Dodgers lost Andrew Heaney and Blake Treinen to the 10-day injured list.
May is the most talented of all those pitchers and the 24-year-old was looking like their next breakout star in 2021 before injuring his elbow and undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was projected to return after the All-Star break and that is looking increasingly likely based on the progression May said he’s on, via SportsNet LA:
“I feel great. Bullpen session went really well. Looking forward to Friday and getting to throw all breaking balls. Another step in the process in this. And Me and the rehab people in Arizona have been staying on top of everything and it’s been going very smoothly. … I’ve thrown nine bullpens so far, and the first eight were all fastballs. [Tuesday] was fastball-cutter, and on Friday, I can throw curveball, changeup and just kind of mix everything in, so I’m really excited for that. ”
Duffy was acquired by the Dodgers at the trade deadline last season while he was still on the 10-day IL recovering from a left flexor strain, but he ended up having a setback and did not ever appear in a game. He was re-signed during the offseason but immediately placed on the 60-day IL.
It’s unclear when the veteran southpaw will be able to pitch again, but he is recovering well, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on SportsNet LA:
Duffy, he’s catch play. He’s doing great. Don’t know when his ETA will be, but just getting him here, I wanted him to get reacquainted with his teammates and get out of that grind. He’s doing well. ”
González went on the 10-day IL when the Dodgers set their Opening Day roster and it was a somewhat surprising move. The left-hander was having a strong spring and looked like a lock for the bullpen but started dealing with left elbow inflammation.
While his timeline still isn’t set in stone, González should be back in the bullpen sooner than later, according to Roberts:
“As far as Victor, he threw a ‘pen [Tuesday]. It was fastball and slider, and he had to be in the mid-90s somewhere. It was good command. Not on assignment yet. I do not know when that’s going to start, but he should be close to going out on assignment. I expect him back at some point. ”
The Dodgers pitching staff could begin to get crowded quickly as players start to return. On May 2 they will also need to trim three pitchers off their roster and call up a position player to have a legal roster.
MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) allowed teams to carry an extra two players on their roster for the first month of the season with no maximum on the amount of pitchers they could carry to help compensate for the short Spring Training.
No Dodgers players exhibiting COVID symptoms after Price’s positive test
On Sunday, David Price tested positive for coronavirus and was placed on the COVID-19 injured list. Price was experiencing some symptoms, which prompted him to take a test. The 36-year-old, who was walking through the Dodgers clubhouse before the game began, is fully vaccinated.
Roberts did not have close contact with Price, and he downplayed concern over the veteran pitcher’s interactions with teammates prior to learning of his positive test, which could lead to players being unavailable because of contact tracing or other health and safety protocols.
Roberts since confirmed no other Dodgers players or members of their traveling party showed symptoms of COVID-19 since Price tested positive.
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