Dodgers Injury Notes: Cody Bellinger, Brusdar Graterol, Gavin Lux, More

No question, the opening game of the San Diego series on Friday evening was perhaps the most exciting contest of the year so far for the Los Angeles Dodgers, living up to the hype that was thrown upon these two teams by most of the national media.

In case you missed some of the conversations leading up to the final out, there was some news that broke which had impacts on several of the Dodgers’ current injuries.

The biggest news of the day surrounded Cody Bellinger when skipper Dave Roberts told reporters that scans indicated a break in his left fibula—not a bruise that was initially diagnosed.

Roberts explained that there is no exact timetable for a return, but he’s hoping to have Bellinger available within a week or two.

“I can say comfortably that it’s not a day-to-day thing,” Roberts said on Friday. “We can kind of just put it on the backburner, let Cody do his rehab and join us hopefully soon.”

Bellinger suffered the injury when former Los Angeles farmhand Reymin Guduan stepped on his leg at first base in an interleague matchup early last week.

Since Bellinger’s injury, the Dodgers have used all three of Chris Taylor, AJ Pollock, and Mookie Betts in center field. For the season, Taylor has already logged nine appearances in center.

Another development on Friday saw reliever Brusdar Graterol joining the team’s taxi squad, but the good news for the righty flamethrower is that he might be activated to the 26-man roster as early as the middle game of the series on Saturday.

Before Friday’s contest, Roberts told the media that Graterol’s activation would depend on how many pitchers the Dodgers used in the opener. As it turned out, Los Angeles sent seven pitchers to the mound in the 12-inning victory, including one-plus innings from both Kenley Jansen and the eventual winner, David Price.

To the contrary, there have been rumblings the Dodgers may activate lefty reliever Alex Vesia ahead of Saturday’s middle game.

TBPC profiled Vesia in late February.

In other news, infielder Gavin Lux has been dealing with a wrist injury and is listed as day to day for the San Diego series. Roberts said that he believes Lux was improving and that he was available to run or play defense in the opener, but not available to hit.

Pollock is also still listed as day to day after dealing with some minor groin issues when running the bases against the Rockies in the series finale on Thursday.

“AJ went down the line early in the game to leg out a single and his left groin tightened up a little bit,” Roberts said after Thursday’s contest.

Zach McKinstry started at second base for the Dodgers on Friday. Raley garnered another start in left field.

There are still no new developments regarding any progress on either Joe Kelly or Tony Gonsolin.

In Saturday’s middle game, Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw will be opposed by San Diego righty Yu Darvish. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. Pacific time.

Highly Anticipated Dodgers vs. Padres Series Set to Begin Friday

After an emphatic sweep of the Colorado Rockies and winners of six straight games, the Los Angeles Dodgers prepare for their first highly-anticipated series of the season.

Set to pitch for the Dodgers at Petco Park, also known as “Dodger Stadium South,” are Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Trevor Bauer.

The Dodgers stand at 11-2, and are the first team to hit ten wins this year. The Padres sit at 8-4 after most recently splitting a two-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Thursday night, the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of division rival Colorado. Max Muncy hit a three-game home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to seal the deal for Los Angeles. Veteran pitcher David Price notched his first save of the year, which was only the second of his entire career, with the last coming in 2008.

The Padres are expecting Fernando Tatis Jr. to make his return to the lineup for this series. Tatis was placed on the ten-day injured list with a shoulder injury on April 6, but those close to the team believe he’ll be activated for the opener.

Los Angeles outfielder Cody Bellinger is eligible to come off the injured list during this series as well, but it looks like that won’t be the case. Bellinger was placed on the injured list with a calf injury last Friday retroactive to April 6.

“I’m not going to say zero, but it’s close to that number,” said Dodger manager David Roberts when asked about the possibility of Bellinger playing this weekend.

Dodgers right-handed reliever Brusdar Graterol is reported to be close to a return. Graterol has been on the injured list since the beginning of the season. He is currently on the Dodgers taxi squad for the weekend series. Joe Kelly is still to make his season debut as well but that could be a few weeks ahead, according to Roberts.

The pitching matchups for this weekend are quite interesting, as many baseball fans have been looking forward to watching perhaps the two most talented clubs in the National League. Friday’s matchup will be Buehler vs. lefty Ryan Weathers, followed by Kershaw against righty Yu Darvish on Saturday, and Bauer vs. left-hander Blake Snell on Sunday.

Friday will be Buehler’s third start of the early season. His last start was the Dodgers home opener against the Nationals when he pitched six scoreless innings and allowing six hits while striking out four batters.

The 21-year-old Weathers will make the first MLB start of his career after previously pitching in relief earlier this season. In six innings of work, he’s allowed one run on two hits while striking out seven batters.

Friday’s contest will be the first matchup of 19 meetings between these two clubs throughout the regular season, as the division rivalry has steadily progressed over the past year, especially after the Padres have made numerous player upgrades.

The first pitch for the opener is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific time.

10 Fun Facts About the Dodgers to Accompany Their First 10 Wins

The Los Angeles Dodgers have started the season strong, being the first team in baseball to tally 10 wins on the season. They sit at 10-2 atop the NL West with the best record in baseball.

So far, this team has been a heck of a lot of fun to watch, as we knew they would be. And they’re not yet all fully heathy or hitting on full cylinders.

While it’s just a small sample size, there have been some fun things happening so far this season. In honor of their 10 wins, we’ll highlight 10 here.

Clayton Kershaw has been so enjoyable to watch. With the weight of not yet winning a World Series off his shoulders, there is an inherent lightness about him. When he got his ring, there were tears in his eyes, and his smile spilt his face wide open. Oh, and besides his first outing in Coors Field, he’s pitching pretty darn well, too.

Kenley Jansen has had two really good outings in a row. Odd thing to say I suppose, but we all know Jansen’s past, and all that comes with it. But after Wednesday night’s outing, Kenley said that this season he’s pitching angry. When asked who he’s angry at, he replied “myself. It’s Kenley be Kenley.” Bring it on, Big Man.

Justin Turner usually takes a while to get going at the beginning of the season. But this season, it’s just the opposite. Turner already has three home runs and leads the team in batting average, sitting at .390. The Whole 30 seems to be working for him.

Zach McKinstry is seemingly everyone’s new favorite player. The bespectacled utility man has been flashing his glove and the leather, filling in for Mookie Betts in right, while also playing at second and in left. He also has three home runs so far this season and is a joy to watch race around the bases. He’s an easy candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Blake Treinen has regained his previous form and then some. While the relief pitcher was formidable last year, he has stepped it up this year. In Wednesday night’s game, he unleashed an 85 mph slider that had 35 inches of vertical break to it. Just nasty.

– Joining Jansen and Treinen in the bullpen is Corey Knebel, another Dodgers reclamation project turned gold. He has retired 12 straight batters and 16 of 17 that he’s faced this season. He walked a batter on April 7th, and that’s it. The trio of Jansen, Treinen and Knebel are a very formidable asset to the Dodgers bullpen.

– The Dodgers have the best run differential in all of baseball at +32, nine better than the next best team, the Red Sox. Los Angeles averages almost three runs more per game than Boston. Conversely, the Chicago Cubs do not quite average three runs per game. They are on pace to win 130 games. Easy peasy.

– The Dodgers have been known for their depth and it’s showing this year again. With the aforementioned McKinstry, there’s also Luke Raley, who collected his first major league hit on Wednesday night. The Dodgers have bench players with higher batting averages than many position players on other teams. And, as always, the Dodgers’ clubhouse fosters an atmosphere of acceptance and enthusiasm for whomever is playing at the moment.

– Los Angeles owns the highest team batting average, on base percentage, slugging, and OPS in the Major Leagues. They’re second in the majors in hits, doubles and triples, first in the National League. That’ll play.

– Their current won/loss record goes like this LWWWW LWWWW. If things keep on that path, it would mean a sweep of the Padres in San Diego this weekend. I’m sure all Dodgers fans would take that.

Not all these trends will continue of course, but they will most definitely continue to be an incredibly fun team to watch.

Envisioning a Dodgers Infield Five Years from Now

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If there’s one main, recurring theme we keep hearing about the Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s undeniably the concept of player depth. There are some fans who may actually be growing tired of the term, but it’s definitely one of the primary reasons the club has succeeded so much in recent years.

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Dodgers Prepare for Home Series Against Rockies

(John McCoy/Getty Images)

Here we are still during the first month of the season and there are only three teams that have not lost a series. The Dodgers are one of those teams, along with crosstown rivals the Angels and the Royals.

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Dodgers to Watch – Kenley Jansen and Zach McKinstry

After the first 10 games of the 2021 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers are sitting pretty at 8-2, the best record in all of Major League Baseball.

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Dodgers Injury Notes: Brusdar Graterol, Tony Gonsolin, Cody Bellinger, More

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Heading into Sunday’s series finale against the Nationals, the injury bug has bitten the Dodgers quite harshly. Entering Opening Day, the squad was relatively healthy, but as the second full week of the regular season approaches, several key players continue to remain absent from play.

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The Obligatory Corey Knebel Post

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(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

When manager Dave Roberts sent righty reliever Corey Knebel out to save Friday’s home opener against the Nationals, it seemed like there was a huge sense of relief among fans of the Dodgers everywhere.

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Dodgers Raise Championship Banner in Home-Opening Victory

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The long-awaited return of fans finally happened on Friday at Dodger Stadium, as spectators were in the building to see the Dodgers unveil their World Series Championship banner.

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Dodgers News and Notes: Bullpen Woes, Cody Bellinger’s Injury, Home Opener and More

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Los Angeles Dodgers have finished their first road trip of the season, amassing a respectable 6-2 record. It easily could’ve been 8-0, but there will be some losses, as we all understand. They are on pace to win 115 games over the course of the season.

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