Right when things seem to be looking up for the Los Angeles Dodgers on the injury front, something else happens that pushes the team a few steps backwards.
There were several key names missing from the lineup that suffered a 12-1 defeat to the Rangers on Saturday evening. Most notably, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger did not play in the contest. Couple those absences with Corey Seager’s broken hand and Mookie Betts’ .248 season average, and you’ll probably see a team that produces inconsistent offensive numbers from one night to the next.
Muncy was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a right oblique strain, but there was a bit of good news when manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he was hopeful Muncy could return after the minimal 10 days. Outfielder Luke Raley took Muncy’s spot on the active roster, despite the team making somewhat of a corresponding move when it purchased the contract of infielder Andy Burns from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Burns took righty pitcher Mitch White’s spot on the active roster and replaced Dennis Santana on the 60-man, who was designated for assignment.
Before his injury, Muncy led the squad with 14 long balls, a .528 slugging percentage, and a .947 OPS.
Bellinger’s absence on Saturday was a previously scheduled night off, although he left Friday’s game early with a self-described “cramp.” He was removed in the fifth inning with what was officially indicated by the team as “left hamstring tightness.” Still, there’s hope that Bellinger might see action against the Rangers in the finale on Sunday.
Seager has been staying active, most recently ramping up his recovery to hitting tennis balls with both hands. Within the next few days, Seager’s expected to be swinging at real baseballs, and from there, a rehab assignment could be in sight. Roberts said that rehab games could happen within a few weeks and that he expects the assignment to last somewhere around seven games.
Even though he’s probably edging closer to a return, lefty reliever Scott Alexander was moved to the 60-day injured list last week, following a near identical return path to the player who replaced him on the 40-man, righty pitcher Tony Gonsolin. Recently, Alexander has been ramping up his bullpen sessions at Camelback Ranch and may be closing in on a rehab stint. He has been on the shelf since May 6 with left shoulder inflammation. Roberts told reporters on Saturday that Alexander could be looking at an early July return.
Utility man Yoshi Tsutsugo might see action with Oklahoma City early next week, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll come back to the major league roster when he’s healthy. Conceivably, at the end of his rehab stint, he may be optioned and stay put in Triple-A. Tsutsugo was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with a right calf strain.
Before being sent to the injured list, Tsutsugo was hitting .155/.256/.194 in 118 combined plate appearances between the Dodgers and the Rays.