Despite the disabled list having been in double digits for a huge portion of the season, the Dodgers still continue to rack up the wins at a fantastic rate, and seemingly write new chapters in the MLB history books with each occurring victory. If you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes to check out Todd’s outstanding editorial analysis outlining how several key injuries early in the season set the stage for the club’s current run of success.
Not that the team necessarily needs it, but the Dodgers may be in store for yet another shot of adrenaline relatively soon when a few key players return from injury. On top of that, there will likely be another handful of impact players added to the squad when rosters expand in early September.
There’s still no firm timetable for the return of staff ace Clayton Kershaw from his lower-back strain, but if the three-time NL Cy Young winner has it his way, he’ll be back on the bump on the short side of the original 4-6 week general prognosis. According to multiple reports, CK will be throwing off a mound very soon, and although the team isn’t pushing a quick return by any means, he could be in line for a rehab assignment in the very near future.
“He’s more on the aggressive side, which is no surprise to any of us,” manager Dave Roberts said before the series opener against the Mets on Friday. “When you hear Clayton wanting to do more, and be more aggressive, that’s a good thing.”
Veteran Adrian Gonzalez has begun rehabbing with Triple-A Oklahoma City, and may be on track to return to the big league squad weeks ahead of the roster expanding. On Thursday evening against Las Vegas, Gonzo went 1-for-3 at the plate with a single. Friday night was a scheduled day off for the 35-year-old first baseman, as the Dodgers have absolutely no reason to rush his return. He’s been on the shelf since June 13 with a disc herniation, and was shifted over to the 60-day DL last weekend. If all goes well, he’ll be eligible to rejoin the team on August 12.
Like Gonzalez, utility man Rob Segedin began his rehabilitation assignment on Thursday, batting second and starting in left field against the 51s. Segedin went 1-for-4 at the dish with a single, and was also given a day of rest on Friday. He was originally sent to the disabled list in mid-April with a toe injury, and later required surgery after severely injuring his wrist while rehabbing in late May. If he’s ready to go before roster expansion, he’ll likely be activated and optioned to OKC, then join the big league squad on September 1.
Righty reliever Chris Hatcher is also rehabbing in Oklahoma City. The 32-year-old North Carolina native threw two impressive scoreless innings on Friday night, having surrendered one hit and a walk while striking out four batters. Hatcher has been on the disabled list since June 23 with thoracic inflammation in his spinal area, and like Segedin, has a good chance of joining the Dodgers when the roster expands.
After being on the shelf for the entirety of the season, fan favorite Andre Ethier is a few days away from beginning an official rehab assignment. Ethier is finally progressing nicely from a herniated disk, and if all goes according to plan, will also get his first hacks of the 2017 campaign after rosters expand on September 1.
The team’s current disabled list count stands at 12 players.
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