There’s a reason the Dodgers didn’t trade one of their four outfielders this winter. They don’t know when they’ll actually have four healthy outfielders. To wit: yesterday Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he still doesn’t have a timetable for Matt Kemp in his return from ankle surgery.
“I wish I could give you a timetable but I don’t know it,” Mattingly said. “I read the reports of him doing a little bit more, a higher speed on the ultra-g (treadmill). But as far as getting out here and running, what’s the date? I don’t have that. That’s kind of depending on what the doctors say.”
Kemp has had multiple MRIs, but his status is still unclear. At this point, it’s hard to see Kemp being ready for the opener.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.