Dodgers Injury Notes: Kiké Hernández, Andre Ethier, Corey Seager & More

Austin-Barnes-Andre-Ethier-Kiké-Hernandez-Joc-Pederson-Corey-Seager
(Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

As fans patiently wait on the management crew of the Dodgers to make the final few decisions regarding the team’s Opening Day roster, it may be worth recapping a few of the more notable injuries and how they may impact the overall makeup of the squad during the first month of the season.

The final roster spots are still undecided mainly because of a pitch that hit the wrist of utility man Enrique Hernández in Tuesday’s Cactus League contest against the Reds. Although X-rays taken on Tuesday came back negative, skipper Dave Roberts said the team wants to see how Hernández responds to the bruise before deciding on which player has earned the club’s super-utility role.

“The X-rays were negative, but I still think we have to see how he feels tomorrow,” Roberts told reporters on Wednesday. “If days go by when he isn’t able to hit, that could change things. That’s kind of holding us up.”

Besides Hernández’s ability to man all three outfield spots adequately, he may also have the upper-hand over teammate Chris Taylor simply because of the team’s decision to wait. If management was locked on Taylor being named to the 25-man roster, the announcement may have already been made, regardless of the outcome with Hernández’s wrist.

After fighting oblique complications for the majority of the spring, shortstop Corey Seager is expected to start in Saturday’s exhibition game against the Los Angeles Angels. The oblique issue has kept Seager out of Cactus League play since March 3, but he’s put in extensive time on the back fields over the past week, both with the glove and at the dish. All signs suggest that the 22-year-old Charlotte native will have no problems taking the field for the Dodgers against the Padres on Opening Day.

There haven’t been any major updates on the condition of outfielder Andre Ethier‘s back, but the 34-year-old veteran has indeed been shut down from all baseball activities and will be evaluated again a few days after the season opener. He was previously administered an MRI, X-rays and a CT scan, which ultimately revealed a mild herniated disc. Despite the severity of the diagnosis, Roberts remains optimistic.

“I think it’s actually a good sign,” Roberts said last weekend. “It’s not a six-to-eight-week thing, from what I understand. Him taking another week to let it subside, we’ll have a better idea of how aggressive we need to be.”

Because of the injury, Andrew Toles will likely see the lion’s share of time in left field, presumably in a platoon role with the right-handed hitting Franklin Gutierrez.

Relief pitcher Pedro Baez continues to work his way back after being nailed in the hand by a comebacker early in camp, but the righty will open the season on the disabled list, if only for the minimum amount of time. He has appeared to be comfortable in his recent bullpen sessions, and has thrown well against hitters during live batting practice. Once he’s able to prove to the training staff that he can endure multiple-inning outings, he’ll likely begin a rehab assignment somewhere on the farm.

Elsewhere in the relief corps, right-handed flamethrower Josh Ravin is likely to miss at least a few weeks with a severe right groin strain. Ravin also suffered severe health issues last spring, struggling with an acute case of strep throat, and later breaking his arm in an auto accident which required the placement of a 10-inch plate during surgery.

Meanwhile, veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir will begin his 2017 campaign on the disabled list because of his bothersome left hip. Right now, there’s still no timetable encompassing a working rehab program or a prospective return.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

 

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