While last week’s injury report brought on a bit of concern from many fans of the Dodgers, the outlook for this week is much better, as the two-week mark before the season opener is quickly approaching and the projected 25-man roster becomes a bit more defined.
Shortstop Corey Seager continues to improve, and is scheduled to take ground balls on the infield and throw up to 90 feet on Thursday. Although he’s not expected to appear in a Cactus League contest this week, skipper Dave Roberts did imply that Seager’s condition would not prevent him from appearing in a regular season game.
Now approaching his third week of limited activity, Seager has been out of Cactus League action since fouling a ball off his shin, and is now dealing with a bit of soreness in his back and oblique. Being that there’s more than enough time left for him to find his Opening Day rhythm, team trainers feel there’s absolutely no need to rush him back into game situations at the immediate moment.
Roberts also indicated that outfielder Andre Ethier may get a few hacks as a designated hitter on Thursday, so long as everything went well in his morning workouts. This is good news for Ethier, who was experiencing back tightness early last week, and was eventually diagnosed as having minor spasms. Ethier initially downplayed the severity of the injury, though, and like Seager, probably would be considered healthy enough to play in a regular season contest.
Veteran Scott Kazmir continues to search for answers regarding his mechanical struggles, and is set to appear in a simulated game on the back fields on Thursday afternoon. Initial thoughts were that Kazmir may have had hip problems, but after an MRI came back clean, the lefty began to rethink his throwing mechanics. Quite possibly, Kazmir almost may be at the point of square one in terms of being ready and stretched out properly for a regular season start.
In the meantime, righty starter Brock Stewart remains shut down after being bothered by ongoing shoulder soreness.
In addition, right-handed reliever Pedro Baez continues to play catch, but hasn’t yet thrown off a mound since smashing his thumb after being smacked by a comebacker in the first week of camp. Like Kazmir, Baez may be in danger of missing out on an Opening Day roster spot because of his extended inactivity.
Outfielders Trayce Thompson and Andrew Toles appear to be back in fine shape after impressive performances at the dish on Wednesday against the Mariners. Tolesy went 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored, while Thompson crushed a mammoth home run to left-center field to break a 2-2 tie in the top of the third inning. Thompson also added his first stolen base of the spring.
During the few remaining weeks of spring training, both Thompson and Toles intend on exhibiting fine performances in their quests to earn spots on the Dodgers’ 25-man roster.
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