The Los Angeles Dodgers recently got closer to full health when Cody Bellinger, Zach McKinstry, AJ Pollock and Jimmy Nelson all were activated, but the team again is dealing with injury concern.
Max Muncy and Bellinger were both removed early from the series opener against the Texas Rangers, and despite initial optimism, have trended in the wrong direction. The Dodgers placed Muncy on the 10-day injured list on Saturday due to a right oblique strain.
Bellinger’s left hamstring tightness was said to be improved, but he didn’t appear in either of the remaining two games against the Rangers. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Bellinger would potentially be available to pinch-hit if a key situation arose Sunday.
However, the Dodgers wound up making a concerted effort not to call on Bellinger after all. “We really tried to stay away from him,” Roberts said after the 5-3 win.
“He did some running before the game and just didn’t feel great. Want to give him an extra day or two, and we’ll see where we’re at [Monday].”
Given the tricky nature with a hamstring and the trouble that came from testing it, Bellinger may be looking at his second IL stint of the season. He previously missed 46 games while recovering from what ultimately was diagnosed as a hairline fracture in his left fibula.
Roberts sensed Bellinger was ‘close’
Missing more time will also cut into recent progress Bellinger had made at the plate since returning from his leg injury. Coupled with being behind in Spring Training due to recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and sustaining the fracture in his fourth game of the season, the number of at-bats has been limited.
“I see compete, I see approach. I think he’s just missing some pitches that he can and will handle here shortly,” Roberts said last week. “I think Cody’s close.
“It’s not to make any excuses, but his presence in the lineup is very important, his presence in center field is very important to us, and it was a shorter rehab assignment. We recalled him because of a certain need and obviously he makes our club better.
“He’ll continue to get at-bats and he’ll perform. I’m not worried about that at all. I think it’s just more of logging at-bats. The more at-bats you take consistently, sometimes it just takes one swing, one at-bat, one game, where something clicks and you go, ‘There it is.’ It’s close. It’ll be there.”
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