After beginning the 2019 regular season without Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, the Los Angeles Dodgers are now dealing with a rash of minor injuries after getting a relatively health roster. Joc Pederson, Justin Turner and Alex Verdugo are among those who have been limited in recent weeks.
Turner has continued to play through right hamstring tightness, while Pederson and Verdugo have both battled back trouble. Meanwhile, a hip flexor forced Matt Beaty to the 10-day injured list last week.
Now David Freese has joined the growing list of ailing Dodgers. With Turner serving as the designated hitter in the Freeway Series opener, it appeared to create a natural opportunity for Freese to play third base with Max Muncy filling in at third.
However, the Dodgers instead have Kiké Hernandez starting at first base in a lineup that does not include Freese. According to Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA, the 36-year-old is dealing with knee tendinitis that is limiting him to a potential pinch-hit appearance:
Right knee tendinitis specifically for David Freese.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) June 11, 2019
Aside from the Dodgers giving Turner a chance to get off his legs, Freese may not have been a candidate to be in Monday’s lineup anyhow. The bulk of his opportunities since joining the Dodgers have come when the club faces a left-handed starter.
The role has been an adjustment and new challenge for Freese, but one that he’s embraced. In 48 games this season, Freese is batting .293/.412/.576 with 10 doubles, six home runs and 19 RBI.
He recently had a season-best 10-game hitting streak, which included back-to-back days with a home run and three overall in that stretch. Freese may have some difficulty in fully overcoming the tendinitis as the Dodgers have just one off day — Wednesday — remaining this month.
Furthermore, while there is not a game that day, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is hosting their annual Blue Diamond Gala at Dodger Stadium, which players typically attend.