Dodgers Dugout: A double whammy for the pitching staff

Daniel Hudson falls to the ground with a knee injury.
(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and it wasn’t a good week to be a pitcher whose last name began with “H” for the Dodgers. Also, the Dodgers won an extra-inning game!

First, Andrew Heaney went back on the injured list because of inflammation in his left shoulder. He already missed about two months this season because of the same injury. But the belief is he will miss only a couple of starts this time.

“I don’t foresee it being long,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Worse news came over the weekend, when the team learned key reliever Daniel Hudson will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while attempting to field a grounder.


In the absence of Blake Treinen, Hudson had become the main setup man to closer Craig Kimbrel, and was often the first name mentioned when pondering replacements if Kimbrel continues to struggle.

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Said Roberts: “When you lose a guy like Huddy, it’s got an exponential effect on everyone.”

The absence of Heaney and Hudson may have led to Saturday’s loss. Mitch White, who replaces Heaney in the rotation, gave up three runs in four innings. The Dodgers rallied to tie it in the top of the eighth. The bottom of the inning would have been the perfect spot for Hudson. Instead, in came Brusdar Graterol, who has filled the Pedro Baez (either lights out or lit up) role this year quite admirably. He gave up two runs, the Dodgers lose, 5-3.

So who will replace Hudson? Matchups will probably be the determining factor, with Roberts going with who he feels gives the team the best chance in that situation. Let’s hope Evan Phillips gets the call often, or Yency Almonte.

Kenley Jansen blew the save for Atlanta on Sunday. I wonder if Braves fans are saying “Why did we ever sign him? That’s four blown saves this season already!” And yes, I know Kimbrel blew a save too, but I picked on him in the last newsletter and there’s really nothing new to say there.

This doesn’t seem possible

But it is. The Dodgers are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The only team with a better record in its last 10 games is Boston, at 8-2. Also, every other NL West team has gone 4-6 in their last 10 games.

Cleaning up?

The great mystery of our time is the fact Max Muncy continues to bat cleanup for the Dodgers. The same Muncy who is hitting .167/.333/.289, good for an OPS+ of 76. The average NL cleanup hitter is hitting .247/.329/.439. Our staff mathematician is off this week, but I believe Muncy is doing worse than that. Let’s look at how the No. 4 hitter is doing for every NL team:

Colorado, .325/.383/.608, 19 homers, 50 RBIs
Washington, .324/.404/.495, 9 homers, 49 RBIs
New York, .281/.359/.568, 23 homers, 72 RBIs
Chicago, .260/.334/.409, 8 homers, 41 RBIs
St. Louis, .253/.323/.442, 12 homers, 44 RBIs
Milwaukee, .245/.300/.393, 10 homers, 43 RBIs
Atlanta, .243/.300/.472, 16 homers, 42 RBIs
Cincinnati, .239/.358/.424, 9 homers, 33 RBIs
Philadelphia, .237/.302/.388, 9 homers, 40 RBIs
San Francisco, .235/.331/.430, 15 homers, 47 RBIs
Miami, .233/.289/.364, 8 homers, 35 RBIs
San Diego, .214/.284/.363, 9 homers, 43 RBIs
Arizona, .207/.310/.470, 19 homers, 39 RBIs
Pittsburgh, .206/.294/.339, 8 homers, 41 RBIs
Dodgers, .189/.323/.378, 13 homers, 39 RBIs

Here are the Dodgers cleanup hitters this season (numbers are from only when they have batted cleanup):


Hanser Alberto, .333/.333/.333, 1 for 3, 1 RBI
Justin Turner, .222/.310/.361, 8 for 36, 1 homer, 6 RBIs
Will Smith, .200/.313/.411, 19 for 95, 6 homers, 14 RBIs
Edwin Ríos, .177/.263/.529, 3 for 17, 2 homers, 4 RBIs
Max Muncy, .173/.349/.346, 18 for 103, 4 homers, 14 RBIs
Chris Taylor, .000/.250/.000, 0 for 3
Zach McKinstry, .000/.000/.000, 0 for 1

You look at how well the top three hitters in the Dodgers lineup have done, and you wonder just how many more runs the Dodgers would have scored with a better cleanup hitter.

The last two weeks

Let’s see how everyone has been doing the last two weeks:

Trea Turner, .408/.434/.653, 3 doubles, 3 homers, 7 RBIs
Freddie Freeman, .395/.500/.721, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 12 RBIs
Trayce Thompson, .313/.353/.563, 1 double, 1 homer, 5 RBIs
Will Smith, .306/.327/.612, 3 doubles, 4 homers, 9 RBIs
Justin Turner, .250/.333/.350, 4 doubles, 6 RBIs
Chris Taylor, .250/.302/.375, 5 doubles, 2 RBIs
Cody Bellinger, .244/.255/.378, 2 homers, 5 RBIs
Gavin Lux, .243/.275/.378, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBIs
Austin Barnes, .200/.546/.200, 1 for 5, 2 RBIs
Max Muncy, .184/.326/.263, 1 homer, 1 RBI
Hanser Alberto, .143/.143/.143, 1 for 7
Mookie Betts: .125/.125/.500, 1 for 8, 1 homer, 1 RBI
Eddy Alvarez, .083/.083/.083, 1 for 12
Zach McKinstry, .000/.000/.000, 0 for 2

Team: .276/.338/.458, 22 doubles, 2 triples, 15 homers, 5.00 runs per game.

Starting pitchers

Julio Urías, 0.75 ERA, 12 IP, 5 hits, 4 walks, 15 K’s
Tony Gonsolin, 1.59 ERA, 17 IP, 9 hits, 5 walks, 15 K’s
Clayton Kershaw, 1.64 ERA, 11 IP, 12 hits, 2 walks, 11 K’s
Andrew Heaney, 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 7 K’s
Tyler Anderson, 2.70 ERA, 13.1 IP, 7 hits, 3 walks, 10 K’s
Mitch White, 6.75 ERA, 4 IP, 5 hits, 2 walks, 3 K’s

Key relievers

Evan Phillips, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s
Daniel Hudson, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 4 K’s
David Price, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 K’s
Yency Almonte, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s
Reyes Moronta, 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 0 hits, 0 walks, 5 K’s
Caleb Ferguson, 0.00 ERA, 0.2 IP, 0 hits
Brusdar Graterol, 2.84 ERA, 6.1 IP, 4 hits, 0 walks, 7 K’s, 1 save
Craig Kimbrel, 3.18 ERA, 5.2 IP, 8 hits, 4 walks, 11 K’s, 2 saves
Alex Vesia, 4.15 ERA, 4.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 walks, 3 K’s
Phil Bickford, 10.80 ERA, 3.1 IP, 4 hits, 0 walks, 3 K’s

Team: 8-3, 2.14 ERA, 101 IP, 73 hits, 27 walks, 106 K’s

Injury report

10-day IL

Mookie Betts, RF, cracked rib. Betts still hasn’t resumed activities and is obviously going to miss more than the two weeks hoped for when he was injured on June 15.

15-day IL


Caleb Ferguson, LHP, left forearm tendinitis. Ferguson is very unhappy with how his injury has been handled and wasn’t happy about being put on the IL. “There’s just been a lot of miscommunication over the last two and a half months,” Ferguson said. “Yeah, I’m just kind of tired of the miscommunication of it.”

Andrew Heaney, LHP, left shoulder inflammation. Dodgers are hopeful he will miss only a couple of starts.

Daniel Hudson, RHP, torn ACL. As mentioned above, Hudson is out for the season. Recovery time for torn ACL surgery is six to nine months.

Edwin Ríos, 3B/1B, torn right hamstring. Out since June 2, not expected back until after All-Star break, though he did send out a cryptic “Counting Down” tweet on Saturday.

60-day IL

Walker Buehler, RHP, strained right forearm. Also had surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow. The Dodgers are hopeful he will be back in September.


Danny Duffy, LHP, left elbow. He is throwing and could be back after the All-Star break.

Victor González, LHP, left elbow inflammation. He had arthroscopic surgery and he could return in August.

Tommy Kahnle, RHP, forearm discomfort. He is expected back sometime in August.

Dustin May, RHP, Tommy John surgery. May is progressing well and is still scheduled to be back in late August or September.

Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Tommy John surgery. It is extremely unlikely that he pitches for the Dodgers this season.

Kevin Pillar, OF, broken left shoulder. Out for the season.

Blake Treinen, RHP, right shoulder discomfort. Is playing catch but probably won’t be back until well after the All-Star break.

26-man roster

The current 26-man roster. Teams are allowed to carry a maximum of 13 pitchers on the active roster.

Pitchers (13)
Yency Almonte
*Tyler Anderson
Phil Bickford
Tony Gonsolin
Brusdar Graterol
*Clayton Kershaw
Craig Kimbrel
Reyes Moronta
Evan Phillips
*David Price
*Julio Urías
*Alex Vesia
Mitch White


Catchers (2)
Austin Barnes
Will Smith

Infielders (8)
Hanser Alberto
Eddy Alvarez
Freddie Freeman
Gavin Lux
Zach McKinstry
Max Muncy
Justin Turner
Trea Turner

Outfielders (3)
Cody Bellinger
Chris Taylor
Trayce Thompson

These names seem familiar

A look at how players who were with the Dodgers last season are doing this season for other teams (through Sunday). Click on the player’s name for more detailed stats:

Matt Beaty, Padres, .108/.175/.189, 7 OPS+, on IL with a shoulder injury


Josiah Gray, Nationals, 6-4, 3.82 ERA, 75.1 IP, 58 hits, 33 walks, 82 K’s

Kenley Jansen, Braves, 4-0, 3.58 ERA, 32.2 IP, 23 hits, 8 walks, 47 strikeouts, 20 saves

Joe Kelly, White Sox, 0-1, 8.31 ERA, 8.2 IP, 12 hits, 6 walks, 12 K’s

Corey Knebel, Phillies, 2-5, 3.26 ERA, 30.1 IP, 23 hits, 20 walks, 26 K’s, 11 saves

Sheldon Neuse, A’s, .229/.296/.298, 73 OPS+

AJ Pollock, White Sox, .246/.283/.377, 87 OPS+


Albert Pujols, Cardinals, .196/.295/.339, 84 OPS+

Luke Raley, Rays, .143/.250/.143, 21 OPS+

Zach Reks, Rangers, .265/.265/.294, 62 OPS+, back in minors

Keibert Ruiz, Nationals, .255/.316/.358, 93 OPS+

Dennis Santana, Rangers, 3-3, 1.59 ERA, 28.1 IP, 16 hits, 6 walks, 21 K’s, 1 save

Max Scherzer, Mets, 5-1, 2.54 ERA, 49.2 IP, 36 hits, 11 walks, 59 K’s, on 15-day IL with strained left oblique


Corey Seager, Rangers, .228/.300/.426, 108 OPS+

Yoshi Tsutsugo, Pirates, .177/.281/.257, 55 OPS+, on the 10-day IL

Andrew Vasquez, Blue Jays, 0-0, 8.10 ERA, 6.2 IP, 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 K’s, on 15-day IL

Up next

Today: Dodgers (*Tyler Anderson, 8-0, 3.00 ERA) at Colorado (Chad Kuhl, 4-5, 3.95 ERA), 5:30 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Tuesday: Dodgers (*Clayton Kershaw, 5-1, 2.00 ERA) at Colorado (*Kyle Freeland, 3-5, 4.29 ERA), 5:30 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Wednesday: Dodgers (*Julio Urías, 5-6, 2.48 ERA), at Colorado (German Márquez, 4-5, 5.58 ERA), 5:30 0.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020


Stories you might have missed

‘Give me a moment’: Freddie Freeman makes emotional return to Atlanta as Dodgers win

Caleb Ferguson frustrated by ‘miscommunication’ with Dodgers after going back on IL

Guide for attending the MLB All-Star game and related events in L.A.


And finally

The final inning of Sandy Koufax‘s perfect game as called by Vin Scully. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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