The Dodgers announced that they’ve placed left-handers Scott Kazmir and Brett Anderson on the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Josh Fields to Triple-A Oklahoma City. In a series of corresponding moves, the team has recalled infielder Charlie Culberson, left-hander Luis Avilan and right-hander Ross Stripling from Triple-A.
Reports earlier today suggested that Kazmir was headed for an evaluation of his ailing back and neck, and the Dodgers’ press release announcing the moves lists the reason for his DL trip as neck inflammation. Anderson, meanwhile, was forced to exit his most recent start early due to a blister on his left index finger. Kazmir’s DL placement, incredibly, pushes the Dodgers into a tie for the Major League record with 27 different players placed on the disabled list in a single regular season, as Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets.
The list of pitchers the Dodgers currently have on the disabled list is deeper and more talented than most teams’ entire rotations. Kazmir and Anderson will join Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu and Rich Hill on the DL, though Hill is lined up to make his Dodgers debut tomorrow. This latest pair of injuries means the Dodgers will rely on Hill, Kenta Maeda, Bud Norris and perhaps rookie Julio Urias in the next trip through the rotation, with Stripling, Brock Stewart and Carlos Frias each representing options for the vacant fifth spot.
The 28-year-old Anderson missed the first four-plus months of the season due to a back operation that he underwent in Spring Training, and he’s been roughed up for 11 earned runs in just four innings across two appearances since returning earlier this month. Certainly, he’ll hope for a minimal stay on the disabled list, both so he can return and help his club for the September postseason push and so that he can demonstrate at least some semblance of health prior to his arrival on the open market as a free agent this winter.
Kazmir, meanwhile, has been perhaps surprisingly durable for the Dodgers this year after signing a three-year, $48MM contract with an opt-out clause after the first year. The 32-year-old’s 25 starts lead the team, but he’ll soon cede that honor to Maeda. In 135 1/3 innings this year, Kazmir has posted a sub-par 4.59 ERA, and this injury presumably makes it less likely that he’ll be willing to roll the dice and opt out of his contract even with a weak market that is lacking in the way of top tier competition.