As it’s difficult to actually put into words how much injuries have had an impact on the Dodgers‘ performance so far this year, the good news is that there may be a few players who are close to returning to action.
As it stands now, there are currently nine players on the club’s big league disabled list, but that number will change beginning on Tuesday.
After hitting in the cages without issues on Saturday, third baseman Justin Turner took live batting practice on the field without any issues on Sunday. Should everything go as planned, Turner would presumably begin a rehab assignment either this week or next, still aiming for an activation sometime this month. It will probably take a little time for the veteran to regain his full timing, but the presence of his bat in the daily lineup will surely be a welcome sight.
Yasiel Puig appears to be very close to action. The 27-year-old outfielder is set to make a rehab appearance with Rancho Cucamonga and may be activated to the big league roster as soon as Wednesday, assuming all goes well on the field. Puig will immediately slot back into right field, which would presumably push Matt Kemp back to left, leaving Alex Verdugo and Tim Locastro vying for the last outfield spot.
Veteran Rich Hill is slated to join the team and be activated to start against the Diamondbacks at home on Tuesday. Initially, his cracked fingernail was thought to be minor, but complications and an infection have caused him to be on the shelf for nearly three weeks. Hill will presumably provide a boost to a much aligned starting rotation. The 38-year-old lefty will square off against Zack Godley in the opener of a two-game set.
Skipper Dave Roberts over the weekend hinted that infielder Logan Forsythe will begin a rehab assignment this week. Forsythe’s right shoulder hasn’t presented any issues at all since he resumed a throwing program last week. Because he hasn’t played since April 14, he’ll likely need to appear in more than one rehab game before the Dodgers are comfortable bringing him back. Forsythe’s eventual return indicates an end to the third-base platoon of Max Muncy and Kyle Farmer, which has lately offered little production.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, righty swing man Tom Koehler isn’t close to making his Dodgers debut, but the veteran has begun throwing from a distance of 75 feet. Roberts confirmed the progress over the weekend. Koehler is on the 60-day disabled list with a shoulder injury and cannot be reinstated before May 28.
Corey Seager is expected to be shifted to the 60-day disabled list sometime soon to create an additional opening on the club’s 40-man roster.
“You kind of feel for these guys, but when you’re trying to win baseball games, it’s sort of the next-man-up mentality,” Roberts said over the weekend. “It’s not insensitive, it’s just the way it has to be. And we have a few good men left.”