Dodgers Start Spring Games Following Loss of Anderson

After learning that likely number three starter Brett Anderson had been lost for most, if not all, of the 2016 season, the Dodgers went out and beat the Chicago White Sox in their first spring game.

Few regulars played for LA today, though Clayton Kershaw did make the start, throwing two shutout innings. He was followed by Joe Blanton who recorded six straight outs, striking out three. The worst pitcher to have donned a Dodgers’ or Angels’ uniform in the


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21st century, and that’s saying a LOT, shot his wad for the year today, and likely will never record another out before he’s shown the back door out of Glendale, AZ.

The baseball world’s number one prospect, Dodgers’ shortstop Corey Seager, played part of the game, going oh-for-two, but that is of no consequence. What is, however, is the oh-for-three recorded by the overrated Trayce Thompson, who got the start in center, but who is a total longshot to make the final squad. The second-level prospect
raised eyebrows and was an object of interest for the Dodgers due to his solid two weeks late last season in Chicago. Those eyeballs who saw the great first two weeks have chosen to ignore his last two weeks where he could not buy a hit and saw his average dip over one hundred points. Joc Pederson has little to worry about in keeping his spot and starting the season in center field.

The Dodgers play the Texas Rangers tomorrow, with Scott Kazmir making his debut. The veteran lefty has to do well this spring and secure the number two spot in the rotation, or the Dodgers will be in deep trouble with their limited and ailing starting staff. When have we heard THAT before?

I wrote repeatedly during the offseason of 2014-5 and during last spring about what a fatal mistake it was to load up the staff with fragile, oft-injured starters, most of whom were unlikely to make it through the spring, let alone the regular season. Well, some did not make it through the spring, others, like Brandon McCarthy, made it barely into the season, but surprisingly, Brett Anderson make it through the whole year, doing decently well, and actually earning his $10 M. He was rewarded with a $15.8 M deal for 2016, and he’ll be getting his checks at home as he recovers from pending back surgery.

The immediate announcement was that he would miss three to five months, meaning a possible return by July or August. Don’t count on that one iota.

Anderson has a long history of serious injuries and surgeries, including of course Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow, but more important to the present situation is the fact that he previously underwent surgery at the same lumbar level, to the same disc, as his present injury. A laminectomy or decompression surgery such as he’s had and will now


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have again, is much more serious and dangerous than sports medics and team execs ever let on, and while the success rate is pretty good in this day and age, a second surgery in the same spot makes the long-term prognosis very problematic. First, the recovery time will almost certainly be longer than it would for an initial surgery at any given lumber level, meaning he may well miss the entire season, but even more importantly, while he may well have relief in the short run, in the long run his symptoms almost certainly will return. The scar
tissue that builds up following such a surgery causes just as much pain as does the initial nerve irritation from the disc bulge.

Anderson may come back and have a fine 2017, maybe even continuing into 2018, but even without a likely injury to some other part of Anderson’s anatomy, as his history screams out will occur at some point, he will have a re-occurrence of his back pain at this same level, causing further significant inactivity.

A talented guy, but too injury prone to be at all reliable.

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