While many fans of the Dodgers have been wondering about the potential contribution levels of players like Kristopher Negron and Tyler White, others have been anticipating a return to normalcy when Chris Taylor, David Freese and Enrique Hernandez eventually rejoin the squad.
Taylor, who fractured his left forearm after being hit by a pitch against Boston not long after the All-Star break, is believed to be healing slightly ahead of schedule. The initial prognosis was guesstimated to be about four to six weeks, which conceivably could have kept the 28-year-old out until the beginning of September.
“It’s good. It’s been a week, I think,” Taylor said in a radio interview about a week after sustaining the injury. “I feel like I’m recovering pretty quickly, it feels much better than it did a few days ago, so hopefully I’ll be back in a few weeks.”
After a disappointing start to his 2019 campaign, CT3 was tasked to replace regular shortstop Corey Seager when Seager suffered a hamstring injury in the latter weeks of the season’s first half. During that time, Taylor hit .380 with a 1.074 OPS over 24 games.
In theory, Hernandez’s injury could keep him off the roster longer than Taylor. Several days passed between the affliction and the point it was actually tested; but, once the MRI results were revealed, it became known that the super-utility man had officially sprained his wrist.
As with Taylor, due to the fragility of the area, wrist and forearm injuries are difficult to even guess a time frame for a return. Regardless, the team felt the need to cover themselves defensively up the middle, ultimately snagging Negron and Jedd Gyorko days before the 2019 trade deadline.
Gyorko, who hit double digit home runs in all six of his big league seasons, has suffered issues with both his back and calf during his time with the Cardinals this season. Last year, the 30-year-old West Virginia native hit 20 long balls, 21 doubles and 67 RBI to go along with his career-high .272 batting average.
With the glove, he can capably handle shortstop, second and third base.
The Dodgers haven’t put a gauge on Gyorko’s recovery time, but skipper Dave Roberts has anticipated the infielder would need at least 40-50 minor league AB just to get his timing back.
“I feel ready, my body feels good, just have to go out and get my timing back,” Gyorko said moments after being dealt to the Dodgers. “I’m not sure how long it’s going to take but hopefully not too long. I think a lot of it is just going to depend on how I feel, how things progress.”
Once again, Freese is dealing with hamstring problems. The most prudent approach for the Dodgers is to give the veteran as much time as he needs to recover, hoping he’ll be ready to contribute off the bench by the time the playoffs roll around in October.
Freese returned from the injured list on July 8 after experiencing soreness in his left hamstring and went back on the shelf 10 days later with more problems in the exact same area.
Lefty starter Hyun-Jin Ryu said he awoke on Thursday morning with soreness in his neck. He said it wasn’t serious, but he didn’t want to pitch with it and risk compromising his mechanics.
Manager Dave Roberts said Ryu is expected to miss only one start, so it’s sort of a summer break for Ryu, is expected to spearhead the postseason rotation for the Dodgers.
“It’s not a big deal,” said Roberts.
Righty swing man Ross Stripling remains on the shelf with biceps tendinitis, but is expected to make a rehab start during the upcoming week.
In other news, southpaw reliever Scott Alexander, who has been dealing with both thumb and forearm problems, west sent to the 60-day injured list on Friday to make room for Dustin May on the 40-man roster.