The Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed back Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor on Tuesday, again giving them a wealth of versatility and needed depth amongst their position-player group. One of the voids is due to Alex Verdugo being lost to the 10-day injured list because of an oblique strain.
When the Dodgers sidelined Verdugo on Aug. 6, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he anticipated the recovery would span longer than the minimum requirement for an IL stint. Roberts explained the club was going to err on the side of caution in effort to avoid any sort of setback.
Verdugo was shut down from baseball activities and reported to Camelback Ranch when the Dodgers embarked on their road trip last week. The rookie outfielder remains limited because of lingering pain in his right side.
“He won’t be back with us until Sept. 1, at the earliest,” Roberts said before the series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. “We’ve just got to get him going. There’s still some pain in the oblique so we’re trying to make sure he gets to health.”
Verdugo is batting .294/.342/.475 with 22 doubles, 12 home runs and 44 RBI. He took full advantage of an opportunity that was created when A.J. Pollock required surgery on his right elbow.
Rich Hill scheduled for bullpen session
Having previously been projected for a September return, Rich Hill continues to make progress in his throwing program. “Rich got out to about 150 feet today,” Roberts said Tuesday.
“Just the the way the ball was coming out, the way he threw the baseball, I didn’t see anything that would’ve shown any signs that he was on the IL. It was coming out really well. He was letting it rip and he was very encouraged.”
Next for Hill is a bullpen session, which he will likely throw Thursday at Dodger Stadium.
Although Roberts recently casted doubt on Hill potentially returning as a starting pitcher for the postseason, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman maintained there still could be enough time for Hill to complete a build up.
The process will be akin to Spring Training, though will likely need to come in games with the Dodgers rather than a rehab assignment because of the Minor League season winding to a close.
If the Dodgers are unable to use Hill as a starter in October, they are also stretching out Julio Urias during his suspension and evaluating Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May.