LA rotation takes another hit with Heaney out

Left-hander's return to IL leaves Dodgers shorthanded again, relying on depth

June 24th, 2022

ATLANTA -- The Dodgers got some more bad injury news on Friday as they placed left-hander Andrew Heaney on the 15-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation. It’s the second IL stint of the season for Heaney, who had just returned on Sunday.

According to manager Dave Roberts, Heaney felt discomfort during his bullpen session on Thursday. Heaney flew back to Los Angeles on Thursday night to get further testing, which showed a strain on his left shoulder. Heaney will now be shut down from throwing for a couple of days.

It’s a similar injury to what Heaney had earlier this season, forcing him to miss two months after making only two starts. But Roberts and the Dodgers believe the injury is less severe this time and are optimistic that he’ll only miss a few weeks.

“I don’t foresee it being long,” Roberts said. “It’s a little worrisome [that the injury popped up again], a little frustrating for Andrew, because he did a lot to get back to that point. But it’s where we’re at. So our job now -- and his job -- is to do whatever we can to get him back on the mound as soon as we can.”

Though Heaney is expected back sooner than later, his injury is another hit to Los Angeles' starting rotation. Walker Buehler is out for three months with a right forearm strain, and the Dodgers have been careful with Tony Gonsolin’s workload, given that he’s pitching his first full season since 2019. Clayton Kershaw pitched six strong innings in Cincinnati on Thursday and appears to be fully built up after missing a month with a back injury.

With Heaney back on the IL, Los Angeles will turn to right-hander Mitch White, who will start on Saturday in Atlanta. White is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in nine appearances (four starts) for the Dodgers this season. The depth behind White gets even thinner for the club.

Ryan Pepiot hasn’t been as effective as expected. Dustin May, who is making his way back from Tommy John surgery, began throwing bullpen sessions on Thursday, according to Roberts. A best-case scenario for May's return would be in August.

Given the lack of depth and injuries, Los Angeles could be more active in the starting-pitching market before the Aug. 2 Trade Deadline. The Dodgers haven't been afraid to make big splashes. Last season, they traded for future Hall of Fame starter Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner.

This season, the two biggest impact arms likely to be available are A’s right-hander Frankie Montas and Reds righty Luis Castillo, who faced the Dodgers in Cincinnati on Wednesday. For now, however, Los Angeles will need to rely on a few of its internal options.