Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Miguel Vargas was in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup for their Cactus League opener despite not yet being cleared to swing a bat due to a hairline fracture in his right pinky.
Vargas suffered the injury early into Spring Training workouts but has continued to participate in fielding drills at second base. He went into Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a clear directive.
“He’s going to stand in there and hopefully see a bunch of pitches while holding a bat in his hand,” manager Dave Roberts said before the Dodgers’ 7-4 loss.
“I think he’ll be fine. I think he understands,” added Roberts when asked if he felt a need to remind Vargas of the limitation in place.
The highly-touted Dodgers prospect stuck with the plan and still managed to draw a walk in his first place appearance.
“He had a great first at-bat and saw a lot of pitches. Just getting him out there, logging innings defensively is a good thing, and tracking (pitches),” Roberts said.
Vargas is believed to have started taking one-handed swings during individual workouts and may be on the verge of taking another step forward in his recovery.
“In the next day or two I think it’s going to be both hands for soft toss or something like that,” Roberts said.
In the meantime, Vargas is expected to make regular starts alongside Gavin Lux in order to give the new Dodgers middle infield ample time to develop chemistry before the regular season.
Miguel Vargas improving at second base
Although Vargas does not have much experience at second base, the Dodgers remain confident in his ability to play the position.
“So far it’s been good. It’s been good,” Roberts said of the rapport Vargas has developed with Lux.
“Obviously there’s a mutual respect. These guys like each other and they’re hard workers. It’s been good and our expectation is it only gets better.”
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