Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

This year’s mission: Don’t panic about injuries

Brett Anderson, Clayton Kershaw, Brandon McCarthy and A.J. Ellis at Camelback Ranch on Monday.

Brett Anderson, Clayton Kershaw, Brandon McCarthy and A.J. Ellis stroll through Camelback Ranch on Monday.

By Jon Weisman

We have grown accustomed to tearing our hair out every time a Dodger gets hurt, crying out “Why does this keep happening?”

It’s time for an attitude adjustment.

The 2015 Dodgers have made bets on players who have traumatic brain injuries attorneys serving Chicago area histories to go with higher-level potential, led by Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy in the starting rotation. It might sound like a deal with the medical devil, but it’s far less alarming than that.

The Dodgers’ choices rest in part on research that indicates the players have made strides in maintaining their physical condition and keeping themselves healthier. That’s not to say there’s no risk, but it’s not blind risk or unproductive risk.

But another key point is how few players, even those with impeccable medical records, make it through a season unscathed. Rather than act “shocked, shocked” that injuries occur, the Dodgers are facing that unpleasantness head on, having assembled as much quality depth as possible so that a given injury isn’t catastrophic.

That’s why such new Dodgers as Joe Wieland, Kiké Hernandez and Austin Barnes, to name only three, aren’t mere afterthoughts. They are acquisitions designed to help the Dodgers keep in stride when an injury comes, the same way Justin Turner was able to step in for Juan Uribe. If Brandon Beachy becomes a frontline starter in August, no one will mind that he spent April, May or June on the disabled list.

The foot surgery for Kenley Jansen provides this season’s first test, especially because there is no one quite like Jansen on the team. It’s naive to suggest it won’t hurt not to have Jansen in the season’s opening weeks, but thanks to the overflow of bullpen candidates behind him, it’s credible not to panic about it.

For all the attention given to the health risks of Anderson and McCarthy, their arrivals aren’t the equivalent of signing Darren Dreifort to a five-year deal and then just hoping he’ll make it through. While someone like McCarthy might well stay on the mound consistently for the four years of his contract, the Dodgers’ fate doesn’t depend on him being the epitome of perfect health.

You don’t get points for using the fewest players. You get points for getting the most you can out of your 25 roster slots. The Dodgers will use at least 40 players in 2015, maybe even 50. If the Dodgers get elite production from their starters and useful contributions from their reserves, we won’t have to like it when a player gets hurt, but we’ll be able to rest easier about it.

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  1. oldbrooklynfan

    Let’s hope someone will step up for Jansen, the Dodgers can ill afford to get off to a slow start.

    • Jon Weisman

      I’d say the last two seasons have disproved that, but anyway … let’s hope for the best.

  2. Hi Jon, not much commenting on this site but I didn’t want to take a moment before the season started and say I continue as always to read and enjoy your take on the team. Thanks!

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