Injuries have been a reoccurring theme for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. While arm issues have plagued the pitching staff, hamstrings have been the downfall for multiple position players.
Yasiel Puig and Jose Peraza are both currently out with hamstring injuries, while Howie Kendrick and Kiké Hernandez each missed significant time with the same issue before recently returning.
Kendrick missed 34 games after straining his hamstring while trying to beat out a ground ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 9. Once he returned, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the club would ease the second baseman back into the lineup.
Despite not pushing Kendrick to start on a daily basis, Mattingly revealed the 32-year-old veteran still isn’t 100 percent, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Howie’s just been a little bit not quite 100 percent,” Mattingly said. “He’s still having to play with a little bit of a governor. We’ll keep trying it and moving him forward to be 100 percent, but that’s one of the main factors tonight, that and a righty [Giants starter Jake Peavy] and with Chase you don’t really mind that.”
Mattingly added the Dodgers they are proceeding with caution:
It’s just that he’s having some tightness and [the hamstring] is not exactly where we want it. We’d rather him feel like he’s good to go every day. It hasn’t quite been like that. We’re being a little protective. We’re going to play Howie; he feels like he can go out there.”
Since returning from the disabled list, Kendirck is batting .241 (7-for-29) with five RBIs in eight games. With the Dodgers needing just one more win to clinch the National League West, Mattingly’s hand hasn’t been forced in potentially overplaying Kendrick due to postseason implications.