The Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff has arguably been the best in all of baseball this season, and that is despite some key players missing time due to injury.
Alex Wood has been limited to just one start this season due to left shoulder inflammation and was thought to be at the final checkpoint before being activated. However, after Wood participated in an intrasquad game Monday, uncertainty looms.
“He was scheduled to throw two innings, and he felt good enough to get up a third time and go out there for part of a third inning. I think it was positive, I don’t want to say overwhelmingly positive as far as how Alex came out of it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“I haven’t heard anything as far as how he feels, so right now I don’t think we know the next steps. It’s more him getting with the trainers and pitching guys to figure out what’s the next course of action.”
Roberts has maintained that he wants to see Wood throw at least four innings against batters before he is activated from the IL. That was supposed to come this weekend during the team’s series in Texas, but it does not appear that will be the case.
“He’s not there yet. When I talked about that last week, the hope was potentially to get him back activated this weekend in Texas. Obviously he’s not here, so that’s not going to be,” Roberts said.
“Right now where we’re at, I just don’t know when his activation or what his role might be with us.”
The original plan was for Wood to return to the starting rotation whenever he is activated, but it seems that may no longer be the case. Despite the team being cautious with Wood’s return, Roberts does not believe he has suffered any sort of setback in his recovery.
“Nothing new. I know Alex was hoping to come out of it feeling strength and feeling really good in his delivery. Coming out of it he felt good but not great with all the things we talked about,” Roberts said.
Kelly not close to being activated
One of the team’s other injured pitchers is Joe Kelly, who is also dealing with a shoulder issue. Like with Wood, it doesn’t appear Kelly will be returning soon.
“For me, he’s still a ways away. He’s been playing catch, I don’t think he’s been on a mound yet,” Roberts said. “I know he’s going through his progressions. Not here with us on the road trip, so I assume he’s getting better each day but there’s really no ETA.”
Kelly still has a five-game suspension to serve whenever he is activated, so it will be a while before he is back on the mound.
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