Dodgers News: Jason Heyward Missing Games Due To Lingering Back Injury

Jason Heyward was out of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup Monday night despite the San Francisco Giants starting a right-handed pitcher as he continues to deal with lower back trouble.

Heyward was scratched from the finale of the exhibition Freeway Series but back in the Dodgers lineup for the Dodger Stadium opener last Thursday. Heyward started again Saturday but hasn’t played since going 1-for-5 in the Dodgers’ extra-innings loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“His back, Freeway Series, that last game, it tightened up during batting practice. So [Sunday] as he was getting loose during the game, he just had a harder time getting loose,” manager Dave Roberts explained prior to the series opener against the Giants.

“He came in today a little sore, stiff, so decided to give him a day. Won’t be available and we’ll see [Tuesday] how he comes out.”

Roberts added Heyward was going to visit Dr. Robert Watkins, spine surgeon for the Dodgers, and that he would “get some imaging” at that point. Heyward won’t play Tuesday and his status and availability beyond that will be determined once the results of testing on his back are reviewed.

The 34-year-old is in his second season with the Dodgers since initially joining the team on a Minor League contract. Heyward’s bounce-back performance in 2023 was rewarded with a one-year, $9 million contract for this season.

“It’s amazing to have people believe in you,” Heyward said during DodgerFest. “That’s something that’s earned, for sure. Especially with the Dodgers. They don’t hand out these jerseys lightly. It’s just a privilege to come back here and wear No. 23 for this group, this fan base and city.

“Just want to work hard, have fun and compete.”

The veteran outfielder has just three hits but two RBI in 14 at-bats across four games thus far in 2024.

Heyward batted .269/.340/.473 with 23 doubles, 15 home runs, 40 RBI, 56 runs scored in 124 games (98 starts) last year.

What Jason Heyward injury means for Dodgers

If Heyward remains out of the lineup or requires a stint on the 10-day injured list, it could create an opportunity for Miguel Vargas to get recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City or potentially lead to Andy Pages making his MLB debut.

Heyward is part of a platoon in right field but the Dodgers have filled his absence by playing Teoscar Hernández at his preferred position rather than left field.

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