Dodgers News: September Return Now Appears Unlikely For Trayce Thompson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the calendar having turned to September the Los Angeles Dodgers have reached the point where they’re expecting a handful of players to return this season. Among them are Andre Ethier, Scott Kazmir, Clayton Kershaw, Trayce Thompson and Alex Wood.

Much of the focus on the Dodgers’ injuries this season has been on starting pitchers lost to the disabled list. However, the loss of Thompson’s production can’t be understated. Particularly when taking into account the Dodgers’ struggles against left-handed pitching this season.

The 25-year-old versatile outfielder took advantage of an opportunity created by the injury Ethier sustained during Spring Training, and played his way into an everyday role.

Thompson hit .270/.352/.603 with six home runs and 14 RBI over 21 games (18 starts) in May, leading the Dodgers in several offensive categories through parts of the month.

He appeared in 39 consecutive games from May 31 through July 10, but Thompson’s production dropped in June as he played through a lingering back injury. He was put on the disabled list July 16, retroactive to July 10, with lower back irritation.

A rehab assignment appeared to be in order in late July, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the outfielder hit a snag in his recovery. That was soon after followed by news of an MRI revealing multiple stress fractures in Thompson’s back.

Nonetheless, Thompson and the Dodgers remained optimistic he’d return for the final month of the regular season. That now appears to be in serious question, per Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

Outfielder Trayce Thompson said the chances of his playing again this season are “dim” after the latest examination of his injured back earlier this week. Thompson had hoped to be cleared to increase his workouts but he was told he would have to wait at least another week before being cleared for baseball activities.

Thompson was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 7, which made Sept. 9 the earliest date he can be activated.

On the year Thompson is batting .225/.302/.436 with 11 doubles, 13 home runs, 32 RBI, a .318 wOBA and 100 wRC+ in 80 games. He’s spent time in center field (32 games; 26 starts), right field (28;22) and left field (24;13).

Should Thompson not make a return, he’ll join Scott Van Slyke as outfielders the Dodgers have lost for the remainder of the season. Van Slyke underwent wrist surgery on Thursday and is expected to make a full recovery in time for Spring Training.