Matt Guerrier Injury Delays Decision, But A Bullpen Mess Is In The Making

With yet another curiously timed injury to a bullpen arm, this time Matt Guerrier, the Dodgers have managed to avoid making a bullpen decision for at least 15 more days.

Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier, signed in part to be the bullpen workhorse, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of right elbow flexor tendinitis.

Guerrier had an MRI, which revealed no issues with the ligament that leads to Tommy John surgery. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection, will rest for several days, then begin tossing.

The Dodgers called up left-hander Michael Antonini from Triple-A Albuquerque to replace Guerrier in the bullpen.

Michael Antonini was called up from AAA to replace Guerrier for a spell until Todd Coffey returns.

While this game can continue on for a bit, the Dodgers are going to have to cut somebody loose eventually. Especially with Ronald Belisario on the way back.

Troubled Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario will start a Minor League rehab assignment next week and is eligible to return from a 25-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy on May 4.

Belisario, however, is out of options and the Dodgers must decide if he’s ready to help the club on that date. If not, they cannot send him to the Minor Leagues unless he clears waivers, but he could be taken by another club.

With both Belisario and Guerrier due to return, that leaves the team with Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, Guerrier, Scott Elbert, Belisario, Coffey, Mike MacDougal, Jamey Wright, and Josh Lindblom.

Out of that group, two guys have to go, because the Dodgers have a weak bench as it is, and carrying 13 pitchers is just asinine (if they do decide on that, I’ll be sure to have something to say about it).

One has to figure that Guerra, Jansen, Guerrier (big contract), Elbert (only lefty), and Belisario (otherwise why go through the headache?) are going to stick around. So that leaves Coffey, MacDougal, Wright, and Lindblom to battle it out for two spots. Unless Lindblom is struggling by then, he should be kept, which sets up tough decisions on two veteran relievers that were guaranteed contracts. And that situation doesn’t even account for Shawn Tolleson in AA, Josh Wall in AAA, and Michael Antonini in AAA. Much less the likes of Nate Eovaldi as a potential contributor and Rubby De La Rosa in a few months.

At some point, a significant decision is going to have to be made, so the Dodgers are only delaying the inevitable.

Whatever the case may be, I just hope the decision is made based on what’s best for the team and not because the GM decided that the best course of action was to go 12 to 14 deep in the bullpen and neglect depth (or starters) at three or four positions.

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