The Los Angeles Dodgers have been right in there with the best teams in baseball over the last few months, perhaps even standing atop the Major League landscape for much of this torrid pace they’ve been on after a horrid start to the 2013 season. But they’re not quite where they want to be yet, standing on the verge of clinching a National League West Division title.
While they will very likely clinch that division title, barring some incredible collapse and a run by the Arizona Diamondbacks, it remains to be seen whether or not the Dodgers will be able to continue this run into the playoffs and make some noise as a championship contender.
The reason that it’s so up in the air is due to the current health status of the team. On paper, the Dodgers are obviously loaded. They’ve spent the last calendar year, and a little bit extra, loading up their team with high priced talent that has allowed them to get where they are to date. When you’re battling injuries as badly as the Dodgers are, though, it’s not easy to make a real run, regardless of your payroll.
Hanley Ramirez is currently out with a tight hamstring. He’s battled injuries at different points throughout the season, though, and has still managed to get his name in the mix for the NL MVP award. Matt Kemp has been invisible for most of the year, as he’s been out with a variety of injuries.
More recent additions to the injury parade include Yasiel Puig, who recently sat with a hip injury, and Andre Ethier, as well as Carl Crawford. The outfield in particular has been decimated by injury here in the last several weeks. Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, it’s not a time in which you want your big names going down with nagging injuries.
Luckily, many of the folks going down in recent weeks are on the fast track to return. Puig won’t sit long, and both Kemp and Ramirez could be back early in the week. While the injury bug has made its way around the Dodger clubhouse, they can at least take some solace in knowing that they may be fighting off such a bug at just the right time.