The Los Angeles Dodgers lost another key piece in their bullpen on Sunday when they placed Yency Almonte on the 15-day injured list and recalled Andre Jackson prior to the series finale against the San Diego Padres.
The injury was announced as elbow tightness, which is never an ideal diagnosis for a pitcher, and prior to going on the IL, Almonte last appeared in a game on Wednesday.
But despite those concerns, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes the injury won’t keep Almonte on the shelf for too long.
“He just had some elbow soreness,” Roberts said. “And he felt he could have pitched [Saturday] night, but I think kind of the way we do things, if there’s a little bit of smoke, we just feel that we might as well kind of use it as a blow for him.
“So he’s going to get an MRI just to kind of make sure that what we think is what’s real. But the expectation is it’ll be short.”
The Dodgers believe Almonte is just dealing with “normal soreness,” and it was something that built up rather than happening on one specific throw where he felt an injury happen.
“I think he was in catch play a few days ago and so we stayed away from him intentionally,” Roberts added. “And I think with a couple off days coming up, we just felt that let’s just take the aggressive approach to it.”
Almonte has one save and pitched to a 1.15 ERA and 0.89 WHIP over 29 games for the Dodgers this season. He was among a handful of players to sign a Minor League contract with the team during Spring Training.
Dodgers hopeful Kershaw’s injury is short term
The Dodgers are also without Clayton Kershaw for the second time this season as he deals with lower back pain that forced him to the 15-day IL.
Kershaw underwent an X-ray and MRI, which didn’t reveal any new findings, making it a “best-case scenario” in Roberts’ estimation.
With the encouraging results of the testing, the team remains hopeful Kershaw will be able to return quicker than he did from his last injury — one month — but they still don’t have a timeline.
“I don’t know when he’s going to pick up a baseball again,” Roberts said. “I use the phrase status quo, I think that’s where we’re at right now. Again, I think it’s going to be shorter than longer.”
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