The Los Angeles Dodgers have dealt with many injuries this season, which has mainly affected their pitching staff, but they have also been without Mookie Betts as he recovers from a fractured rib.
However, multiple players who are currently on the injured list are progressing well. On Saturday, Betts completed one of his final steps before his return, which included taking live at-bats, infield drills and running the bases.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the club plans to activate Betts on Sunday, but he will return in right field due to Chris Taylor dealing with a left foot contusion. The plan had been for Betts to receive some time at second base.
Betts is still dealing with some pain in his rib, but the chances he further injures it are slim, so it’s mainly just about pain tolerance at this point. The good news for Betts is the pain difference is “night and day” from when he first tried to play through the injury.
Along with Betts, the Dodgers also have positive news on four of their injured pitchers.
Caleb Ferguson close to return
Caleb Ferguson has been on the 15-day IL since June 21, retroactive to June 17, with arm soreness. Although Ferguson felt he could pitch through it, the Dodgers opted to give him some extra time.
On Saturday, Ferguson pitched an inning to Betts and Zach McKinstry, and came out of it feeling well, so he should be activated in the near future.
“Yeah, Fergie was good,” Roberts said. “It was just one inning. He threw to Mookie and Zach. He came out of it great. All the stuff that we look at was checked, checked out, and he came out feeling good. So, you know, sometime next week being activated is very, very likely.”
Roberts also added Ferguson will not need a rehab assignment before he returns. “He’ll be ready to go,” Roberts assured.
Andrew Heaney’s timeline hasn’t changed
Andrew Heaney has been highly impressive for the Dodgers when he’s on the mound, but it’s only amounted to three starts.
Heaney has twice been placed on the IL with a left shoulder strain, but the second instance wasn’t considered as serious as the first and he is already throwing again, which included a session on Saturday.
“Andrew had a good day of catch play,” Roberts said. “I said initially that he’s probably going to miss three starts. I think that’s where we’re at. Could it be four? Possibly, but we’re just not going to rush him. It just makes no sense.
“So he’s not up a mound yet. I don’t know when that’s going to be so once he does that, we’ll just know more.”
Dustin May almost set for rehab assignment
Dustin May has been in the process of recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in 2021, and he could soon find himself pitching in games again.
May has already thrown a few bullpen sessions and faced live hitters in a simulated game, which makes his rehab assignment “really close,” according to Roberts.
The skipper isn’t yet sure where May will make his rehab starts, but the right-hander will need a full Spring Training type buildup that will take roughly four weeks. That gives May a timeline of returning sometime in August, if all goes well.
Blake Treinen progressing but timeline unclear
The Dodgers are still optimistic Blake Treinen will return this season as he has been making progress with his throwing program. However, there is still no set timeline as he recovers from right shoulder trouble.
“Blake, I was watching throw, he’s really good and it’s close,” Roberts said. “But what that means I can’t even specify right now. But yeah, he’s been tracking really well.”
Treinen made just three appearances before he became among the pitchers the Dodgers lost to injury. He began to experience right shoulder discomfort prior to pitching against the Cincinnati Reds on April 14, and the pain intensified in the ensuing days.
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