The Dodgers were dealt perhaps their biggest blow of the spring injury-wise when the team’s medical staff revealed that lefty reliever Tony Cingrani would miss the beginning of the season with shoulder soreness.
Although not specific in nature, the soreness is the same injury that sidelined the 29 year old for the second half of last season.
“The same shoulder issue he had last year came back. So we’re going to shut him down and hopefully calm this shoulder thing down,” skipper Dave Roberts told Bill Plunkett of the OC Register late Thursday.
Roberts acknowledged that Cingrani probably would not pick-up a ball until after Opening Day.
Plunkett pointed out that Cingrani also experienced similar shoulder strains when he was with the Reds during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
As far as the 25-man roster goes, Cingrani’s injury may open the door for either Caleb Ferguson or Julio Urias to line up as the second lefty reliever behind Scott Alexander. The club did sign Donnie Hart to a deal a few weeks ago, but the team immediately shipped him to the minor league side of camp. Hart has one option remaining on his contract, so there’s a strong chance that we’ll see him at some point in the year, regardless.
The same applies for southpaw Adam McCreery, who has two options.
Max Muncy remains on the mend after suffering an injury to his wrist on Thursday. It wasn’t specified exactly how he initially became injured. The only information shared with reporters was that Muncy woke up with soreness in his wrist early Thursday morning and couldn’t move it at all. Muncy explained later that it subsequently loosened up and that doctors ruled out any serious injury.
“I’m not worried at all,” Muncy told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com on Friday. “In fact, I feel real good about it now.”
On Saturday, Muncy stated to the media that his sore wrist is “getting better.” However, he said that he’ll still be limited in his workout, likely just fielding ground balls and taking some dry swings with the bat.
Shortstop Corey Seager seems to be on track to start on Opening Day after an illness held him back several days earlier in camp. Seager’s return to the diamond was in question from the early days of camp, though, after he had gone through UCL surgery last season.
Seager is scheduled to play five innings in the field at short in a minor-league game on Saturday then go seven innings again Sunday on the back fields. Plunkett said that Seager is on track to play in a Cactus League game at some point next week.
Although it’s clear that ace Clayton Kershaw isn’t yet in shape to make the team’s Opening Day start on the mound, the club still hasn’t announced a back-up plan. There are rumblings that Kersh may still start the opener against the Diamondbacks, but it could be a non-traditional type of outing where he pitches just one or two innings.
“It’s unlikely,” Roberts said. “But to be definitive, I don’t want to close the door. But when you look at the calendar, it’s unlikely.”
Kershaw is scheduled to throw another bullpen on Monday.