The Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed back Will Smith on Sunday but still have a few expected contributors on the 10-day injured list in Alex Wood, Joe Kelly and Edwin Rios.
Alex Wood has been sidelined the longest, as he managed to make just one start before being placed on the IL due to left shoulder inflammation. He was temporarily shut down from baseball activities but has steadily increased his throwing over the past week-plus.
Wood was generally pleased after pitching three innings a simulated game, and remains scheduled to face batters once again. “Alex is going to throw a four-inning simulated session Monday,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“If it all goes well, he’ll throw a side a couple days later. The goal is to activate him, but that’s all contingent on Monday and how he recovers after that.”
Wood returning from the IL presumably would bump Dustin May out of the rotation, assuming the Dodgers are at full health. May initially filled in for Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day, but he has remained part of the starting rotation now in Wood’s absence.
Another option for the Dodgers would be to move Julio Urias — or even Wood for that matter — into the bullpen. However, Roberts has not given any indication the club is considering either scenario.
On the position player side, Rios landed on the IL Aug. 17 due to a left hamstring strain. He suffered the injury in the Freeway Series finale and after initially lobbying his way to remaining in the game.
Rios grabbed at his hamstring while legging out a double, which prompted Roberts and a Dodgers trainer to check on him. Although Rios stayed in, it was evident he could no longer continue playing as he failed to cross home plate before Matt Beaty was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.
The Dodgers initially believed Rios potentially only suffered a cramp and they weren’t fully committed to putting him in the IL. That quickly changed, but Rios has recovered well thus far.
“Full participant [Saturday],” Robert said. “Ran, threw, ground balls, hit. I think Thursday is his day to come off, so I would expect him coming off when he’s eligible.”
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