The Los Angeles Dodgers are entering the 2016 season with several expected regulars on the disabled list. In some cases, Brett Anderson and Andre Ethier for instance, it’s been known for multiple weeks they would not be available come Opening Day.
For others, such as Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick, there was some glimmer of hope they’d recover from their respective injuries. Instead, both are beginning the season on the disabled list.
Grandal’s recovery from forearm soreness slowed as he participated in Minor League games leading into the weekend. As a result, he didn’t join the Dodgers on Saturday in the Freeway Series finale, which was previously expected to be the case.
The earliest a DL stint can be backdated is March 25. Given Grandal and Kendrick didn’t appear in a Major League game from that point forward, their respective DL stints are retroactive to that date. Meaning, both are eligible to return after missing just five games.
According to Andy McCullough of the LA Times, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is open to keeping three catchers on the active roster once Grandal is reinstated from the DL:
The Dodgers will announce their roster tonight. Roberts said the team would consider rolling with three catchers when Grandal comes off DL.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) April 2, 2016
Grandal’s absence led to Austin Barnes making the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster as A.J. Ellis’ backup. Barnes appeared in 20 games with the Dodgers last season, batting .207/.361/.276 with two doubles and one RBI.
In 81 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he batted .315/.389/.479 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. Barnes played four games at second base this spring, and one at third base. Roberts praised the 26 year old during camp for his versatility, though did say Barnes would focus on catching with the OKC Dodgers this season.