July 25, 2024

The Los Angeles Dodgers faced a tough week with injuries to key players Mookie Betts and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. While neither injury is season-ending, their absence is significant.

These injuries have sparked discussions about the Dodgers’ approach to the trade deadline, specifically whether they should acquire a shortstop or another starting pitcher. Fox Sports MLB writer Rowan Kavner discussed the situation with Hall of Famer and baseball analyst John Smoltz.

“I don’t think they have to be desperate,” Smoltz said. “I think they’re gonna win the division, obviously, unless somebody really gets hot in the NL West. They have that going for them, and they can be patient and kind of cherry-pick.

But if they do show desperation and really go after pieces that alter their future with some of the prospects they have, I just think it’s going to be a wait-and-see scenario. I think they’re good enough with their roster to win the division easily.

“Now, I don’t know how important having one of those two best records is to them. But they’re in a great spot, despite some of the bad injuries. You look at the two front-runners before the season started, both the Braves and Dodgers have lost a significant pitcher and a significant player.

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And everyone else seems to be OK when it comes to some of the injuries. Although Philadelphia has had their share of injuries recently, they’re getting Trea Turner back. It’s kind of a hold, hold, hold, and then cherry-pick a player when one of those teams falls off.”

Smoltz’s assessment seems accurate. The Dodgers are well-positioned. As of Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, they had a comfortable nine-game lead in the division. Rising star Gavin Stone is capable of stepping in for Yamamoto, and Miguel Rojas offers a defensive upgrade at shortstop.

The next few weeks will clarify any remaining uncertainties for the Dodgers. In the meantime, the team will continue to field the best lineup available.

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