Chris Taylor has been playing through a pinched nerve for the last several weeks but the Los Angeles Dodgers believe they will be able to manage it well enough to keep him active for the rest of the season.
Including the series finale against the Colorado Rockies, Taylor has not started nine of the team’s last 11 games. He sat out five consecutive games beginning on Sept. 11 before he was able to pinch-hit last Friday.
Taylor was back in the lineup the following day but re-aggravated his neck issue. “It started that last game in Cincinnati and sort of regressed,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Roberts reiterated the super utility player should be able to avoid a stint on the 10-day injured list, especially with the return of AJ Pollock, who will allow them to give Taylor more time off.
“I think we’ll be able to manage it,” Roberts said. “Having AJ back gives us a little bit more coverage, so I think with C.T. we can afford a few more days.”
Although Taylor was likely going to be unavailable Thursday, there had been improvement. “He’s feeling better. We’ll probably stay away from him again, but the pain medication or shot, whatever it is that he got, it seems to be working,” Roberts said.
“The mobility is getting better, I think he’s going to do some baseball activities, some swinging of the bat. I’ll probably stay away from him and then we’ll see about [Friday].”
Taylor wound up making a pinch-hit appearance in the Dodgers’ comeback win.
Taylor earned his first selection to the All-Star Team after a stellar first half, but since Aug. 1, he has been nearly 50% below league average with a 56 wRC+ while batting .189/.259/.311 in 148 plate appearances.
Despite his recent struggles, Taylor has still posted strong overall numbers this season, hitting .258/.344/.448 with a 116 wRC+ and 3.1 WAR.
Extension for Taylor was considered
Taylor is scheduled to become a free agent after this season and he is sure to draw a lot of interest from teams around the league due to his offensive ability and defensive versatility.
The Dodgers know Taylor will not be easy to replace if he leaves, and they reportedly considered making an attempt to sign him to a contract extension before he is able to reach free agency. However, it is unclear if they made him an offer.
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