The Dodgers are running out of pitchers. Starter Julio Urías was placed on the 10-day injured list on Saturday with a left calf contusion, one day after getting hit by a pitch on his left calf.
Urías was hit by a pitch from Tylor Megill on his back leg in the fourth inning Friday, but stayed in to pitch the next two innings. Some swelling on the calf remained on Saturday.
“We didn’t want to put him in harm’s way,” manager Dave Roberts said Saturday night. “Hopefully it’s just 10 days and he can get back in there, but you just don’t want the mechanics to be compromised by a lower-half contusion.”
Urías becomes the ninth different Dodgers pitcher currently on the injured list, not even counting the ones who have been ruled out for the season.
The only starting pitchers on the active roster are Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer, and David Price. Mitch White pitched four innings on Thursday and essentially becomes the fourth starter by default. The only other pitchers on the 40-man roster not on the active roster or injured list are Andre Jackson and Cole Hamels, the latter having only pitched 3⅓ major league innings since the start of 2020 and is still in build-up mode after signing with the Dodgers last week.
Saturday is the Dodgers’ fifth game in a stretch of 22 games in 23 days. Though with an off day on Monday, August 23, it’s possible Urías could only miss one start. In between, the Dodgers will need a fill-in start, likely on Wednesday against the Pirates at Dodger Stadium.
A bullpen game could be an option, but that would further tax a group of relievers that already pitched 19⅔ innings in four games on the road trip, with only one off day in the next 19 days.
For now, the Dodgers called up utility man Zach McKinstry, giving them another position player off the bench, with Buehler and Scherzer starting the final two games in New York.
McKinstry joined the team on the taxi squad in Philadelphia, at the ready had the club decided to place Justin Turner on the injured list with an injured groin. Turner missed the first four games of the trip and is out of the lineup again on Saturday, but is expected to be available off the bench to pinch hit.
Manager Dave Roberts said Turner could be used to hit, but if he got on base would likely be replaced by a pinch runner. In theory, Turner could return to the lineup as early as Sunday, but adding McKinstry at least gives them latitude to for such maneuverings should Turner need to be replaced on the bases or in the field.
McKinstry is hitting .217/.265/.408, an 80 wRC+ in the majors this season, but was optioned to Triple-A after going 5-for-45 (.111/.149/.289) in July. He was 2-for-17 (.118/.318/.294) with a home run and four walks in five games with Oklahoma City before rejoining the Dodgers.
He’s started games in right field, second base, third base, and left field in the majors this season.