The Los Angeles Dodgers cruised to an impressive 18-10 record in June and finished the month with a 12-game advantage over the second-place Colorado Rockies in the National League West standings.
The club achieved these results despite being shorthanded in many areas of the roster. Rich Hill and Corey Seager, two of their most important contributors, were placed on the 10-day injured list with respective forearm and hamstring injuries. Scott Alexander was also unavailable for most of June while recovering from separate forearm and thumb ailments.
Also working their way back from injury were David Freese and A.J. Pollock. The former had been mired by right knee tendinitis for much of the previous month before being placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring less than two weeks ago.
Pollock has been out even longer, undergoing elbow surgery in early May to remove a metal plate that had previously been inserted. He resumed baseball-related activities in mid-June and continues to inch closer to a return.
Dave Roberts revealed that both Freese and Pollock faced live pitching at Camelback Ranch on Sunday for the first time since being placed on the 10-day injured list, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Roberts said A.J. Pollock and David Freese were scheduled to face live pitching Sunday at the club’s spring training facility in Arizona for the first time since going on the injured list.
Freese is expected to rejoin the Dodgers prior to the All-Star Break while Pollock has targeted a return for the club’s series against the Boston Red Sox to kickstart the unofficial second half of the regular season.
Roberts believed it was an easy decision to place Freese on the 10-day injured list, citing the Dodgers’ collection of infield depth to help fill his void until completely healthy again.
Freese’s imminent return will provide a huge boost to the Dodgers, especially against opposing left-handed pitchers. In 140 plate appearances this season, the 36-year-old is hitting a stellar .308/.407/.592 with 18 extra-base hits (56 games).
As for Pollock, he recently increased his level of baseball activity and believes his recovery from elbow surgery has been as smooth as can be.
When the 31-year-old officially returns, he’ll look to turn around his season after a slow start offensively. In just 28 games, he is batting .223/.287/.330 with three doubles, one triple, two home runs and 14 RBI over 115 trips to the plate.