Dodgers facing renewed rotation concerns after injuries to Anderson, McCarthy

You get the sense Andrew Friedman or Dave Roberts upset a voodoo priest.

Though the Dodgers have done well over the last several weeks to create separation in the NL wild-card race without Clayton Kershaw, their rotation was dealt more blows on Sunday. First, the Dodgers placed Brandon McCarthy on the disabled list with right hip stiffness. Then, Brett Anderson, making his season debut, exited after throwing a single inning.

Anderson struggled against an all-righty Pirates lineup, surrendering five runs to the Pirates on multi-run homers by Jordy Mercer and Sean Rodriguez. Later in the inning, Anderson made a diving attempt at an Adam Frazier chopper -- a play that evidently resulted in a wrist injury. After the game, it wasn't clear whether Anderson would require another DL stint:

Whether Anderson makes his next start or not, the Dodgers are back in a position where we have to raise our eyebrows at their rotation depth. Bud Norris is set to rejoin the staff later this week, and Rich Hill will continue his rehab efforts from a series of blisters. But after that? Kershaw can't return for another two weeks, and Hyun-jin Ryu is out through at least the rest of the month after being moved to the 60-day DL in early August.

Brett Anderson left his season debut after one inning. USATSI

If Anderson does miss time, the Dodgers could place Julio Urias back in the starting five -- he threw in relief of the early-departing McCarthy on Saturday -- but that clashes with their plan to limit his workload. That means the Dodgers might have to call upon someone like Jose DeLeon, lest they settle for an unexciting option like Brock Stewart. Beyond that, the Dodgers would have to survey the trade market. Remember, teams can still make moves -- the players involved just have to have cleared waivers, which shouldn't be an issue for most back-end types.

With all that said, it's easy to find a bright spot for the Dodgers. Namely, it's that the wild-card race has become a race against attrition. Both the Cardinals (Matt Holliday, Matt Adams) and Marlins (Giancarlo Stanton, Adam Conley) lost key players to injury this week as well. By virtue of having a four-game lead for the top spot, the Dodgers are probably the best positioned of the bunch -- even if their unsettling injury count suggests otherwise.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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