Though the Los Angeles Dodgers continue taking care of business on the field, they have been plagued by a multitude of injuries in recent weeks — particularly on the position-player side of things.
Already without the likes of David Freese, Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor, the club lost another key contributor in Alex Verdugo, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain.
It capped off a frustrating first week of August for the 23-year-old, as he was scratched from the lineup on two separate occasions. Left knee soreness prevented him from suiting up in the Dodgers’ series opener against the San Diego Padres before back issues again held him out for Monday’s contest against the St. Louis Cardinals.
While the Dodgers were initially optimistic that Verdugo’s back woes weren’t serious enough to warrant a stint on the injured list, an oblique issue will ultimately sideline him instead for the next two weeks or so.
“It happened in that last game against the Padres, avoiding a ground ball, felt he was OK but the next morning he woke up, tried to move around and then take swings before the game and just felt it more in the oblique,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained.
“He was point-tender when the docs were touching on it, so obviously we stayed away from him. It’s going to take the full 10 days and maybe even a little bit longer. We’ve just got to make sure we get him healthy once we activate him.
“With the oblique, it’s more of you’ve got to let it heal up and give it time before resuming activities. That’s the tough part when you’re talking about rotation, whether it be throwing or swinging a bat. We’re going to take our time. Got to make sure we get this behind us.
“It’s going to be a couple days of inactivity. He’ll be here for the homestand and then on the road trip, he’ll head to Camelback Ranch. It’ll be two or three days without activity.”
With the Dodgers well on their way to a seventh consecutive National League West title, they can afford to be cautious with Verdugo and make sure he’s completely healthy before activating him.
In 106 games this season, the rookie is batting .294/.342/.475 with 22 doubles, 12 home runs and 44 RBI.
Hyun Jin-Ryu on track to make next start
When the Dodgers placed Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 10-day injured list with neck soreness earlier this week, the expectation was that he would make a quick recovery and potentially miss only one start.
Tony Gonsolin temporarily filled in for the left-hander, tossing six shutout innings in Monday’s 8-0 win over the Cardinals. He has since been optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City — an encouraging sign that Ryu is progressing well.
Ryu recently threw a bullpen session without suffering any setbacks, further helping his cause. “No news is good news,” Roberts said.
“He threw a bullpen and I didn’t hear anything, so I think that was good. He’s thrown like three (bullpens) in the last four years, so yeah (that’s notable in itself).”
Ryu tossed six shutout innings in his most recent start against the Colorado Rockies last week before waking up with the neck stiffness the following morning. He is on track to start Sunday’s series finale against the Miami Marlins.