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At the time the Dodgers made the statement about keeping their young talent, the team was cruising through the season and wasn’t dealing with any major injury.
On Sunday, that all changed as Clayton Kershaw, the team’s ace and one of the best pitchers in baseball, suffered a back injury that forced him out of the game after two innings.
On Monday, the team confirmed they would be without Kershaw for 4-6 weeks, which means he should be back right before the playoffs begin. However, not having Kershaw in the pitching rotation leaves a big void, and could cost them the best record in the league.
Now that the Dodgers know where they stand with Kershaw’s injury, the question they have to answer is should they trade for Yu Darvish or another one of the available pitchers that can help fill the void?
Even without Kershaw, the Dodgers shouldn’t have any problem winning the NL West since they already have a 12.5 game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks , who sit in second place. However, with the Washington Nationals playing well, their chances of finishing with the best record in the National League is at risk.
Another thing the Dodgers have to worry about is if they decide to wait on Kershaw is the fact that he suffered a back injury, which are very tricky, and there are no guarantees he will pitch as well as he was when he got injured.
In the past, Kershaw has pitched on three or four days rest during the playoffs, which is normally tasking for a healthy pitcher. With him coming back from injury, it will be difficult for the team to put him in that situation again, which is why their best bet at the moment is to trade for Darvish or another starter that can come in and fill the role.
By trading for Darvish, the Dodgers not only have an ace that can help them maintain their current pace, they also have an insurance policy in case Kershaw doesn’t return from the disabled list on time.
Darvish has been in the majors for five years, but he also has a lot of experience. With the Texas Rangers, he isn’t getting a lot of run support so his win/loss record looks average. But with a team like the Dodgers, Darvish will likely return to his old form because there won’t be any pressure on him to bail the team out.
Darvish also has some playoff experience, which will come in handy for the Dodgers. With Darvish on the team, the Dodgers also won’t require Kershaw to pitch on three day’s rest, which should give him more time to recuperate and because he will be pitching on his regular schedule.
With a healthy Kershaw and Darvish on the team, the Dodgers shouldn’t have any problem getting to the World Series.