The Los Angeles Dodgers activated David Freese from the 10-day injured list and optioned Edwin Rios and Kyle Garlick to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday.
Freese will return from a left hamstring strain when the second half starts, though he additionally had been battling tendinitis in his right knee. Freese’s stint was retroactive to June 21, which made last Sunday the first day he was eligible to return.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts initially expressed optimism the veteran infielder would return after spending the minimum requirement on the IL, but Freese’s hamstring did not respond to treatment as expected.
With the club continuing to pace the Majors in wins and maintaining a double-digit lead in the National League West standings, there wasn’t any sense of urgency to rush the recovery process. It was with that sentiment that Freese was placed on the injured list to begin with.
“I think they’re all tough, obviously, but David is a tough loss in the sense of his at-bat against a lefty, off the bench the presence he has,” Roberts said at the time. “But I think that fortunately, where we’re at, we have a luxury right now of not putting him in harm’s way to make sure he’s ready for the stretch run.
“Fortunately we’ve put ourselves in position where we don’t need to push players. We can push starters back, if a guy is ailing or sore, we can give him a day off. Freese, in his situation could probably get through it but to be able to backdate a few days and buy him some time to get back to close to 100%, it’s a no-brainer right now.”
Prior to being sidelined, the 36-year-old completed a stretch of appearing in six consecutive games from June 15-20, including back-to-back starts at the tail end of it. Overall this season Freese is batting .308/.407/.592 with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 23 RBI.
Along with A.J. Pollock, Freese recently faced live pitching at Camelback Ranch. Whereas Pollock was sent on a rehab assignment, Freese did not require one.
Rios returns to Oklahoma City after joining the Dodgers as their series with the Colorado Rockies began. Rios made his MLB debut with a pinch-hit appearance last Thursday, was again used in that capacity the following night, then made three consecutive starts.
He went a combined 3-for-12 with one triple, one RBI, four walks and five strikeouts in six games (three starts).
Garlick spent a little longer with the big league club, hitting .216/.275/.432 with two home runs and four RBI in 25 games. His roster spot will likely go to either Corey Seager or A.J. Pollock once they complete their rehab assignments.