With a final exhibition game to play in the Freeway Series before Opening Day of the 2016 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have limped to the starting point. Injuries throughout Spring Training ravaged the starting rotation, and soon after several position players.
On Thursday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed Alex Guerrero underwent an MRI on his bothersome left knee and will begin the season on the disabled list. Guerrero doesn’t need surgery Roberts said, but an anti-inflammatory and rest are in order.
Yasmani Grandal appeared destined for the same fate due to lingering forearm soreness, however, Roberts provided a positive update on the 27-year-old catcher after Grandal caught in a Minor League game on Thursday.
That left Grandal on track to join the Dodgers on Saturday in the finale of the Freeway Series, then start behind plate in the second game of the regular season.
But after catching again at Camelback Ranch on Friday, the most recent report on Grandal wasn’t nearly as favorable. “He caught six innings, had five at-bats and got a couple of hits,” Roberts said.
“He told me he felt good, not great. As I’ve told him from the beginning, if he doesn’t feel he can sustain his health once he comes back, then we’re resolved to starting with him on the DL.” Roberts said after Friday’s loss that Grandal was scratched from his scheduled start in the Freeway Series finale, and he will instead play in another Minor League game.
“For us, we have to make that decision on if we want him to open the season active and remain active,” Roberts said. “If there’s thoughts he can have a setback once the season starts, then we’ll have him open the season on the disabled list. … The window is closing for Yasmani, so we’ll see.”
By having Grandal remain in Minor League games, the Dodgers retain the option to backdate a DL stint to March 25. Assuming he’s healthy enough to return after the 15 days, Grandal would only have missed five regular-season games.
As for Howie Kendrick, Roberts said the second baseman did “light jogging” and “swung the bat in the cage” on Friday. Roberts nonetheless doesn’t expect Kendrick to be on the Opening Day roster.
Should that hold true, and Grandal also not be available, the Dodgers conceivably will begin the year with nine players on the DL — Brett Anderson, Mike Bolsinger, Andre Ethier, Grandal, Guerrero, Kendrick, Brandon McCarthy, Frankie Montas and Hyun-Jin Ryu.