While many fans of the Dodgers were hoping that the team’s general bill of health would begin to improve heading into the first full week of May, the injury report continues to be a revolving door of wounded players. With a bit of luck, though, a few may conceivably return relatively soon as the club hopes to avoid yet another week of double digits on the disabled list.
In the eyes of some, the grand slam off the bat of rookie sensation Cody Bellinger in the ninth inning of Saturday evening’s contest overshadowed the highlights of an otherwise stellar performance from staff ace Clayton Kershaw. What’s more, another relevant chunk of news began to stir in the fifth inning when veteran outfielder Franklin Gutierrez appeared to injure himself while running the bases during an Enrique Hernandez double. Guiterrez’s problem was later identified as tightness in his hip.
Gutierrez was quickly replaced in left field by Andrew Toles when the Dodgers took the field in the bottom of the same frame. After the game, skipper Dave Roberts said that the move was precautionary, and that he intended on boosting the defense in the outfield with Toles at some point, anyway. Nevertheless, the squad should have a better idea of Gutierrez’s health upon returning home on Monday. Should the 34-year-old Venezuelan native be required to spend even more time on the shelf, Trayce Thompson, Brett Eibner and Scott Van Slyke will eagerly be waiting by their phones at Oklahoma City.
In other news, Roberts told the media that lefty starter Hyun-Jin Ryu may be close to returning sometime soon, perhaps even during the series at Colorado next weekend. Because of the nature of the injury, trainers do not foresee Ryu requiring any type of rehab start, suggesting that he’ll be able to return directly to the rotation upon being activated. Ryu was originally placed on the 10-day DL on May 1 with a bruise on his left hip, which he suffered while sliding into second base in a contest against the Phillies in late April.
After anticipating a possible return by second baseman Logan Forsythe over the weekend, the Dodgers’ training staff has become less optimistic after the 30-year-old experienced hamstring tightness during a rehab game with High-A Rancho Cucamonga last week. The extended time on the DL may ultimately favor Forsythe down the road, if only because his fractured toe could benefit from the extra rest. Still, there’s no definite time frame for his return.
“We’re really addressing the hamstring, or whatever is causing it, maybe the hips are out of line,” Roberts said. “As far as a date, I don’t know. I know it’s going to call for three or four rehab games.”
Speaking of toe injuries, utility man Rob Segedin isn’t anywhere close to returning after having been on the DL since April 18 with a sprain of his right big toe.
“He’s in Arizona right now doing some baseball activities, but he still says that it’s not right,” Roberts said. “I know, obviously, every day he’s getting better, but I think that with the time he’s missed, it’s still, once he starts, it’s going to be certainly a week of games at least to show that he’s healthy.”
Veteran lefty Scott Kazmir tossed 36 pitches off the mound at Dodger Stadium during a session on Wednesday, but he plans on returning to extended spring training to begin another detailed throwing regimen which could possibly last multiple weeks.
“His delivery was repeated, which is good. I know he feels healthy and strong,” Roberts said.
Hard-throwing righty reliever Josh Ravin is now throwing at Oklahoma City after beginning his rehab assignment with Ranch Cucamonga. On Saturday night, Ravin tossed one full inning of relief against Round Rock, giving up one run on two hits with three strikeouts.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, Ravin allowed a leadoff double, then struck out the next three batters he faced in a rehab inning for Rancho on Tuesday. Ravin, who’s been on the 10-day DL with a right groin strain since Opening Day, also threw a scoreless inning for the Quakes on Monday.
Also appearing for the Quakes in a rehab start last week was southpaw starter Rich Hill, who lasted only 2/3 of an inning and was removed after only 29 pitches. He surrendered four runs on three hits and one walk then retired to the bullpen, where he threw another 30 pitches.
Hill is expected to make another start for Rancho on Tuesday, and if he emerges blister-free, will return to the big league squad shortly thereafter.
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