While there hasn’t been an overwhelming number of injuries so far this season, there have been enough to create a hindrance in some of the key areas of the Dodgers roster, perhaps even having an effect on the club’s overall performance.
The biggest blow of spring camp was undoubtedly the broken wrist of third baseman Justin Turner. The latest news on JT is that he still hasn’t begun to swing a bat, despite several reports over the weekend suggesting otherwise. However, the 33-year-old infielder is still participating in a few baseball activities, including an active regimen of throwing. He still has a teammate catch for him when he throws, to keep any pressure off his glove hand. Currently, the teammate normally catching for him is Logan Forsythe, who can’t throw yet because of his shoulder.
“It’s getting better every day and it’s been a good week as far as range of motion and pain tolerance, but not there yet,” Turner told reporters with a hint of sarcasm. “When I hit a ball off a tee, I’ll be the first one to stand here and let you guys know. I’ll send a tweet and tag you guys. Maybe you can get some followers.”
Speaking of Forsythe, he’s apparently been progressing with his inflamed shoulder, as he was recently seen taking dry swings in the batting cage. Additionally, skipper Dave Roberts hinted over the weekend that Forsythe may begin throwing over the next few days. Athough the 31-year-old Memphis native is eligible to come of the disabled list on April 25, the club has still yet to reveal a firm timetable for a return.
Rich Hill is also eligible to be reinstated on Wednesday after being placed on the 10-day DL with a cracked fingernail on his middle finger on April 18. The veteran southpaw called the disabled list move “precautionary” from the beginning, and as recently as Friday, told the media that he was fine to pitch.
“I could have pitched tonight,” said Hill. “No issues.”
Still, after the team shifted around the rotation in light of Hill’s absence, there is a need for another starting pitcher in the opener against the Marlins on Monday night. Many pundits have speculated that either Brock Stewart or Walker Buehler will be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City; however, there still has yet to be a firm decision.
“We’ll know soon enough,” Roberts said over the weekend. “We’ve got a couple of ideas. I can’t say.”
(Update: At 2:00pm on Sunday, the Dodgers announced that Buehler will get the start against the Marlins on Monday)
In other news, there hasn’t been much information surfacing on the progress of swing man Tom Koehler. During spring training, the right-hander suffered a shoulder injury that was diagnosed as an anterior capsule strain, and while his recovery sounds promising, the team will likely take it very slow in terms of a rehab program.
“The strength is there, the range of motion is great, but they want to make sure when I’m back, I’m back for good, and not just for a couple of weeks,” Koehler said a few weeks back. “It feels good today, but we want to make sure it’s good for the long haul.”
Another righty reliever, 27-year-old Yimi Garcia, has been rehabbing with Oklahoma City and may be available to the big league roster very soon. Garcia has been sidelined all season while working his way back from Tommy John surgery that he underwent back in October of 2016. While this is the final step in his recovery, the Dodgers haven’t specified how many rehab appearances Garcia will make before rejoining the big club, leaving his return date up in the air.