Dodgers News: Chris Taylor Optimistic With Swing & Recovery From Neck Injury Heading Into NLDS

Chris Taylor was out of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup for the final five games of the regular season and manager Dave Roberts expressed initial concern he would not recover from a neck injury in time for the National League Division Series, but optimism has been on the rise.

Taylor resumed baseball activities on the last day of the season and planned to build from that during the Dodgers’ first NLDS workout at Dodger Stadium. Taylor did not participate in the intrasquad game and won’t play on Saturday either, but otherwise is trending in the right direction.

“He threw out to 120 (feet), took swings in the cage,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “[Saturday] he’s going to be a full participant as far as the pre-intrasquad game. He’s not going to partake in live at-bats. The plan is for him to take the live at-bats on Sunday.”

In a best-case scenario, Taylor will face pitching over two separate days before the Dodgers host Game 1 of the NLDS on Tuesday. That would mark more than a week for Taylor between games, but he downplayed concern.

“I feel like I’m pretty good with where my swing was,” Taylor said. “It was unfortunate with the timing with the neck, but it’s better than feeling like I have to grind through something and take a bunch of swings. Hopefully I can kind of pick up from where I left off.”

Taylor went 3-for-4 when he last played on Sept. 30, and hit safely in four of his last five games.

Chris Taylor sees difference from 2021

Taylor dealt with a similar neck injury last season that also was treated with a cortisone injection, but he views the latest trouble as a different set of circumstances because of timing and feel with his swing.

“Last year, I got the injection a couple weeks before the season ended, and where my swing was, I was not in a great place,” Taylor noted. “So I was having to take more swings because I was kind of searching. It ended up working out in the playoffs, where I sort of figured it out.

“I feel a little better at this point than where I was last year with my swing. Hopefully I don’t have to take as many swings as I did last year. It feels pretty good.

Getting the injection as soon as possible was the right move, and knowing that I had good results with it last year and it kind of immediate fixed it, it made it an easier decision.”

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