The 2011 Dodgers season smells something fierce, and that smell ain't roses. Tonight the Dodgers got bad news that not only is terrible news for this year, but casts a dark cloud over 2012 as well. Rubby De La Rosa got his MRI results back Monday night, and the news was a kick in the crotch:
Rubby De La Rosa diagnosed with sprained UCL. He is weighing options & determining course of treatment. Unfortunately surgery is an option.
This almost certainly means the end of 2011 for Rubby, and a potential Tommy John surgery could keep him out for most or all of 2012 as well.
What this means for the Dodgers in 2011 is that they need to fill a hole in their starting rotation. John Ely is here now, having been recalled today, and he figures to start as early as Saturday or with an off day as late as August 9. Dana Eveland is another option, which would require a roster move to add Eveland to the 40-man. But that's not a problem, as the Dodgers are already at 38 on the 40-man roster and can transfer De La Rosa, Vicente Padilla, or Jon Garland to the 60-day disabled list to create even more room if needed.
The Dodgers could also go the kid route, though that option seems less likely. Nate Eovaldi has torn Double A a new one this year with a 2.66 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning, but his 103 innings pitched is already more than the 98 1/3 innings he threw in 2010. It's unknown how many more bullets are left in that gun this year. Allen Webster has had success at both Class A and Double A this season, but like Eovaldi doesn't need to be added to the 40-man roster until November 2012. It seems unlikely that, at least for this year the Dodgers wouldn't turn to Eovaldi or Webster unless their season is cut into pieces and they need a last resort.
For 2012, assuming no Rubby, the Dodgers rotation consists of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, two holes, then Ted Lilly. Hiroki Kuroda hasn't decided whether or not he will return to Japan next year, but you can bet on a Dodger full court press to try to persuade him to return.
In a season full of bad moments, De La Rosa's injury is the nadir. Pitching a baseball: unsafe at any speed.