Dodgers News: Ross Stripling, Austin Barnes & David Freese Among ‘Small Number’ Of Players Expected To Join Sept. 1 Expanded Roster
Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes speaks with Ross Stripling
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Potentially less than one week away from clinching a seventh consecutive National League West title, the Los Angeles Dodgers additionally are poised to see the return of multiple players from the 10-day injured list.

Chief among them are David Freese and Ross Stripling. They remain on track to be activated Sunday, which is the first day active rosters expand. “It’s going to be a small number on Sunday,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of players returning.

“But if you’re talking about after the first week of September, that’s a bigger number. We’re still going to be mindful of keeping it sort of at a minimum. We do have guys coming back that we’re hopeful of. Obviously, Julio, Richie, Strip, Austin is going to be back, Freese will be back on the first.”

Freese has been sidelined since July 26 because of a left hamstring strain. It stemmed from previously dealing with right knee tendinitis, which also required a stint on the IL.

“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 last month. “But I think that fortunately, where we’re at, we have a luxury right now of not putting him in harms way to make sure he’s ready for the stretch run.”

Along with making occasional starts at first base, Freese has been an integral pinch-hit option for the Dodgers. He has 10 hits — including four doubles and one home run — in 25 such at-bats. Overall, Freese has appeared in 66 games (32 starts) and is batting .300/.399/.579.

Stripling has suffered from neck and biceps trouble over the past month and a setback delayed his return until September. Stripling pitched in an Arizona League game this week without incident.

“It was three (innings) and 45 (pitches). I didn’t see the video but everything I heard from Honey was really good. I expect Ross to be here when we expand rosters on the first,” Roberts said.

Austin Barnes had previously been identified as a Sept. 1 call-up, and Roberts reiterated as much when he joined the club as a corresponding move to Russell Martin being placed on the bereavement list.

Barnes’ prolonged struggles this season, which seemingly were an extension from last year, led to a demotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Dylan Floro, Rich Hill, Kristopher Negrón, Tyler White and Alex Verdugo are others the Dodgers hope will return during September. While a rough timeline is in place, it is not something the team is beholden to.

“It’s more of when these guys do get healthy, just make sure that they’re right,” Roberts said.