The Los Angeles Dodgers have fallen behind the eight ball over the last week or so as multiple infielders have been slowed with some sort of injury. Entering Friday’s game, the Dodgers were without the services of Alex Guerrero, Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner.
Guerrero, suffering from knee soreness, last played on March 4. Howie Kendrick (groin soreness) hasn’t been in the lineup since March 5. Turner has yet to appear in a Cactus League game as the Dodgers are taking a cautious approach with his return from offseason knee surgery.
All three players have participated in batting practice and fielding drills at some point over the last week. In Turner’s case, he’s also played in Minor League games on the back fields at Camelback Ranch.
The list of those ailing grew on Friday as Corey Seager was removed after just three innings. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his club’s loss that Seager was lifted due to left knee soreness.
While Seager may become the next player to miss some time, Guerrero is expected to return Saturday night as the Dodgers’ designated hitter, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
Alex Guerrero will return tomorrow as the #Dodgers' DH against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) March 11, 2016
The Dodgers are playing split-squad games, both at night, on Saturday. They’ll face the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. PT, and take on the Seattle Mariners beginning at 6:40 p.m. PT at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Guerrero started at third base in the Dodgers’ 2016 Cactus League opener and went 2-for-3, including hitting the club’s first home run of the spring. Overall, he’s 2-for-5 with the one strikeout and one home run in two games.
Guerrero was the subject of trade rumors during the offseason, and in February was labeled the outfielder most likely to get traded. The 29-year-old Cuban native has a clause in his contract that permits him to opt out after the season concludes in which he was traded.
Guerrero was mentioned as a trade candidate prior to the deadline last July. At the time, it was reported he may be willing to waive the opt-out clause if he was financially incentivized and sent to a team that could provide more playing time.
Including Guerrero and super utility man Kiké Hernandez, the Dodgers have eight outfielders on the 40-man roster. Guerrero is owed $5 million this season and in 2017 on a four-year, $28 million contract signed in October 2013.