While the Los Angeles Dodgers are in better standing now health-wise than they were when the 2016 season began, multiple key contributors remained sidelined. However, even those on the disabled list are nearing a return.
Most notably is Clayton Kershaw, who is expected to face live hitters over the weekend after throwing two bullpen sessions. A mild disc herniation forced Kershaw to the disabled list on July 1, though it was retroactive to June 27.
Joc Pederson also landed on the DL the same day as Kershaw, with his stint backdated to June 29. Pederson suffered a bruised AC joint in his right shoulder after crashing into the center-field fence while making a catch at Miller Park.
Days of minimal improvement led to Pederson receiving a cortisone shot and his injury being upgraded to a sprained right AC joint.
According to Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider, the 24-year-old center fielder is joining Triple-A Oklahoma City on a rehab assignment and nearing a return:
Joc Pederson on his way to do rehab assignment with @okc_dodgers. Could be activated as soon as Tuesday.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) July 15, 2016
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously stated Pederson was rehabbing at the club’s Camelback Ranch Spring Training facility, unable to swing a bat, and with his expected date of return unknown.
Pederson this season is batting .236/.328/.476 with 16 doubles, 13 home runs, 33 RBIs, a .341 wOBA and 115 wRC+ over 65 games. In his absence the Dodgers primarily turned to Trayce Thompson in center field.
Though, Andrew Toles was recently called up from Oklahoma City to spell Thompson; Toles made his Major League debut July 8.