There’s plenty of good news heading into this weekend’s injury report, with the possible return of third baseman Justin Turner sometime next week capturing the headlines of many Dodgers outlets across the baseball blogosphere. What’s more, the current injury count on the disabled list has finally dwindled down to the single digits, a trend that many hope continues into the summer months.
Shifting outfielder Andrew Toles and pitcher Scott Kazmir to the 60-day DL on Friday permitted the organization a bit of 40-man roster flexibility. In turn, the club added utility man Mike Freeman and righty pitcher Chris Heston, who were both claimed off waivers from the Mariners. The placement of Toles on the 60-day disabled list was expected, but the Kazmir move may have been somewhat of a surprise, although many fans believed that it was doubtful that Kazmir could have made a positive impact with the team this season, anyway. With Tolesy and Kazmir joining Andre Ethier and Yimi Garcia, the Dodgers now have four players on the 60-day disabled list.
While Ethier still remains unable to run without pain, he can swing a bat without affecting his herniated disk. There’s still no firm date set for even a prospective rehab assignment, however, the team is still hopeful that the veteran outfielder could join the squad as soon as July.
And despite the murky outlook for Kazmir, who is striving to rediscover his mechanics after hip complications last spring, manager Dave Roberts continues to remain optimistic.
“The velocity has ticked up,” Roberts told the media before the series opener against the Cubs on Friday. “We got him on the gun at 90-92 off the mound, so that’s really encouraging.”
As far as news goes on Turner, the 32-year-old Long Beach native could potentially return from the disabled list before the end of next week’s road trip. Turner is currently dealing with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, the most mild form of the injury. He was initially expected to need more than two weeks, but he has been able to take grounders on the field and appears to be progressing better than expected. While Roberts initially told reporters that it will be Turner’s own personal option in regards to rehabilitation, the consensus on Saturday evening was that he’ll appear in at least one rehab game before his return. The soonest that he’s eligible to be reinstated is May 29.
Righty Brock Stewart is finally scheduled to start his season by making one appearance with High-A Rancho Cucamonga this weekend before moving up to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Stewart has been on the disabled list since Opening Day after developing shoulder tendinitis towards the end of spring training.
In other news, utility man Rob Segedin underwent surgery for an injured wrist and will miss an additional 4-6 weeks. Segedin had been out initially with a toe injury since April 19 without making significant progress. That injury that was originally expected to keep him out for perhaps a month. However, he suffered a separate wrist injury while rehabbing, and this new ailment could conceivably keep him off the field until the All-Star break. With outfielders like Brett Eibner making his presence known and Chris Taylor continuing to add value at ultiple positions, there’s no guarantee Segedin will even make the major-league roster upon his return.
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