Dodgers Injury Update: Scott Alexander ‘Still Not Healthy,’ Rehab Process Taking ‘Longer Than We Thought’

The biggest weakness of an otherwise unstoppable 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers team has been their bullpen. Kenley Jansen has been solid at times, but not his old dominant self.

Outside of Julio Urias and Pedro Baez, the rest of Jansen’s fellow relievers have generally struggled throughout the year. Scott Alexander has been decent when healthy, but has only thrown 17.1 innings this season.

He has been sidelined since early June, initially going down with a forearm injury before enduring a setback due to a minor thumb issue.

He was recently throwing bullpen sessions at Camelback Ranch and seemed on track to begin a rehab assignment.

However, the Dodgers may have to wait a little more to get him back, according to manager Dave Roberts’ latest update, per’s Ken Gurnick:

“Still not healthy,” Roberts said. “It’s dragging on longer than we thought. There’s no new diagnosis, it’s just taking longer than we expected.”

Losing Alexander, who has a 3.63 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 2019, is a bigger blow than some may think. The Dodgers are currently only carrying one left-handed reliever on the active roster in Urias, who has been used mainly in a multi-inning long relief role.

That puts pressure on Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to acquire some left-handed relief depth before the July 31 midseason trade deadline. While Friedman may choose to acquire lesser-known relievers like he has in previous midseason deals, there are a few star options on the market.

San Francisco Giants All-Star closer Will Smith may be one of the most sought-after players before the deadline, but it remains to be seen whether Giants ownership would allow former Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi, who now runs San Francisco’s baseball operations, to engineer a trade with their longtime archrival.

The Dodgers could also seek a reunion with Smith’s teammate and fellow lefty Tony Watson, who signed with the Giants after helping L.A. reach the 2017 World Series.

Friedman and Zaidi acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates just before the 2017 midseason trade deadline. While Watson’s numbers pale in comparison to Smith’s, he has still been solid for the Giants and carries a 2020 player option that could give the Dodgers an extra year with him.

The Dodgers reportedly have interest in Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez, but acquiring him and the multiple years left on his contract could easily command multiple top prospects.

Plus, Pirates GM Neal Huntington recently said he plans to keep Vazquez in Pittsburgh for at least the near future.