Can the LA Dodgers Overcome the Loss of Greinke, Capuano, and Billingsley?
Mothers are always right.
Fighting solves nothing and unfortunately for the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are learning that the hard way.
Although Carlos Quentin is already slated to return to the San Diego Padres lineup following his suspension for charging Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke, the Dodgers are still reeling from the effects. Greinke broke his collarbone in a collision with Quentin and is currently on the 15-day disabled list.
As if the loss of Greinke wasn't bad enough, fellow starter Chris Capuano was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, and Major League Baseball reported that his injuries were also a result of the bench-clearing brawl with the Dads.
Apparently things really do happen in threes...hours ago, news broke that Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley will require Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
However, Dodgers fans should not be cancelling October quite yet. Although it is true that April has been disappointing at the very least, the key word here is APRIL.
Starter Ted Lilly is expected to return to the rotation next week. Although he hasn't pitched a game since last May, Lilly brings a veteran presence to the mound...something that the Dodgers will miss greatly in the series to come.
The loss of Zack, Cap and Bill leaves only Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett as the only MLB veterans in the rotation as of today. Rookie Stephen Fife and Korean newcomer Hyun-Jin Ryu make up the rest of the rotation while they await the return of veteran Ted Lilly.
Capuano may even find himself out of a starting job, dependent on the performance of Ted Lilly. In essence, the Dodgers may only be losing two starters, but Lilly's performance is impossible to predict due to his extended absence from baseball.
April could not get much worse for the Dodgers. Their offense has failed to show up, producing only 3.0 runs per game in their first 18 contests. With one of the most feared lineups in baseball, the Dodgers are bound to begin to produce offensively.
The Dodgers bullpen is also reassuring, posting a modest 3.67 ERA to start the season, and a 3.72 team ERA.
Clayton Kershaw has been exactly what Dodgers fans expect. With a 1.88 ERA in four starts, Kershaw is the least of their worries. Beckett and Ryu have been average thus far, though neither are consistently dominant.
Take a deep breath, Dodgers fans. Although the loss of the three starters is certainly a painful blow, it is also certainly not a fatal one. Despite the rough April that the team has endured, they find themselves only two games below .500.
The Boys in Blue are still a serious playoff contender, regardless of their injuries. Hopefully, the team is just getting their adversity out of the way now so that they can come together later in the season.
After all, no one wins a championship because they had a stellar April.
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