Hairston: Dodgers Upbeat Despite Injuries

The DL has not been kind to the Dodgers this season, but they're hanging around in the NL West

Reiter Than You
June 14, 2018 - 4:56 pm

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Former World Series champion and current broadcaster Jerry Hairston Jr. dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss numerous MLB topics, including the NL West, where the first-place Diamondbacks (37-30) and last-place Padres (33-37) are separated by just 5.5 games.

The Dodgers (35-32), who have won the division five years in a row, trail Arizona by just two games despite numerous injuries to key players, including Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu. 

Hairston said the Dodgers have remained positive despite a big bite from the injury bug.

“Well, really right now, the vibe has been great,” Hairston said on Reiter Than You. “Even though we have been crushed with injuries to star players, they have found a way to win (and) at least stay afloat in the National League West. I credit Dave Roberts, with his leadership, (for) not allowing his team to make excuses. (They're) finding a way to win ball games. They’re playing together.”

Hairston credited unsung heroes like Max Muncy, who has provided a lot to the team both offensively and in the infield.

Kershaw, meanwhile, is 1-4 despite a 2.76 ERA in eight starts, but his nagging injuries are concerning as he enters his 30s. Hairston, though, isn’t worried.

“I’m not overly concerned,” he said. “I saw Kersh a couple days ago, and he seems to feel that his back is going to be okay. He was smiling, laughing, joking. So he feels he’s going to come back relatively soon.”

It remains to be seen which team, if any, can unseat the Dodgers in the division. Hairston identified the Rockies (33-34) and Diamondbacks as “the teams I’m concerned about.”

“The Diamondbacks always play the Dodgers tough,” he said. “They’re starting to get back to playing the type of baseball that they were playing in April.” 

And then there’s the Rockies.

“They have a really good bullpen now,” Hairston said. “They haven’t pitched well out of the bullpen this year, but they have a lot of guys that are capable of really putting in solid innings out of that bullpen, and you’ve got to figure they’re going to come back and pitch the way they’ve pitched in the past.”

As for the Padres, Hairston said they’re a hard-working team with a great coaching staff but that they’re too young and inexperienced at this point. That, of course, could change before the July 31 trade deadline.