Glasnow lands on IL, Miller struggles in tough day for rotation

July 10th, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- The afternoon started with the Dodgers announcing that All-Star pitcher was going on the 15-day injured list with lower back tightness, retroactive to Saturday.

Though Glasnow isn’t expected to miss a significant amount of time, it was yet another blow to a starting rotation that has been depleted with injuries throughout the season.

The Dodgers were dealt another blow later in the night, as -- one of their few healthy starters -- continued his struggles, allowing nine runs over four innings in the 10-1 blowout loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

“It’s really tough,” Miller said of his outing. “I’m pretty sure every pitcher is going to say that’s tough. It’s the worst start of my career. But I’m just glad that’s over with and I’ll bounce back.”

The timing of Glasnow’s injured list stint could be convenient for both sides. Glasnow is at 109 innings this season, just 11 away from matching his career high in any season in his big league career. Given the fact that it’s still July and the Dodgers expect to play into October, Glasnow will almost certainly blow through that if he can avoid further injury over the last two and a half months of the regular season.

Glasnow was scheduled to pitch Thursday against the Phillies, which would have been his last start before the break. The Dodgers fully expect Glasnow to be ready to pitch shortly after the break either on July 21 against the Red Sox or July 22 against the Giants. If all goes according to plan, Glasnow would miss only one outing, a tradeoff the Dodgers and the right-hander were willing to make.

Glasnow, who was named to the NL All-Star team on Sunday, will not be participating in his first Midsummer Classic now that he’s on the IL.

“It sort of lined up with the All-Star break,” Roberts said. “We obviously were thinking about that, with no real idea when it might or might not happen. But with the back flareup, we just felt this is as good a time as any.”

With the postseason always at the forefront of decisions, the Dodgers will continue to limit the workload of all their pitchers, particularly their starters, over the remainder of the season. Glasnow’s injury isn’t expected to linger and he will be back soon rather than later.

In the meantime, however, there’s some real concern surrounding the Dodgers’ starting rotation. The Dodgers are currently without Walker Buehler, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Clayton Kershaw. Buehler, when healthy, wasn’t very effective. Yamamoto, on the other hand, was really solid in his first taste of the Majors, but there’s always a lot of concern about a setback with shoulder injuries.

That leaves Gavin Stone, James Paxton, Landon Knack, rookie Justin Wrobleski and Miller as the only healthy starters at the moment. For Miller, the season got off to a tough start as he missed nearly two months with a right shoulder injury.

Since coming back, things haven’t gotten much better for Miller. They got even worse against a powerful Phillies’ lineup.

Miller struggled with his command and Philadelphia made him pay. A two-out walk in the second opened the door for the Phillies, who went on to score three runs in the frame. Then in the fourth, the wheels fell off for Miller as a Trea Turner grand slam highlighted a six-run inning.

After allowing nine runs, Miller’s season ERA ballooned to 8.07 over 29 innings. Miller and Roberts both were adamant that the right-hander isn’t dealing with any physical ailments, particularly the right shoulder injury that forced him to miss time.

“I’m trying everything I can,” Miller said. “Shoulder is strong right now, so it’s probably just mechanics. It’s a little bit of everything. I’m still trying to figure that out.”

Rotation help was always going to be a big focus for the Dodgers before the July 30 Trade Deadline. But over the last few weeks, the Dodgers’ starters have really struggled. Since June 16, the day after Yamamoto went down with injury, the combined rotation ERA is 5.67, the worst in the NL during that span.

“I know that winning baseball games, sustaining winnings, stems and starts with starting pitching. That’s a fact,” Roberts said. “Clearly, we haven’t got the consistency out of that.”