The Dodgers have activated second baseman Howie Kendrick from the 15-day disabled list, Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA reports. Kendrick had been on the disabled list since August 10 with a hamstring injury. He is not in Friday’s starting lineup versus the Pirates but he is available off the bench.
Chase Utley has handled the position for the majority of the time during which Kendrick was absent. Now he’ll slide into a part-time role. The Dodgers have toyed with the idea of Utley at third base, but the veteran has virtually no experience at the position. The last time he made a full effort to play third base was in 2002 as a minor leaguer with the Phillies.
Kendrick, 32, is hitting .296/.341/.418 with nine home runs, 49 RBI, and 57 runs scored in 450 plate appearances this season.
Enrique Hernandez has begun to take away playing time from the struggling Joc Pederson in recent days, but now the Dodgers will have to make due without him for a while.
After leaving Sunday’s game against the Cubs with what was termed as left hamstring tightness, Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list this evening. The move says a lot about his status, as rosters are set to expand tomorrow. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times this evening that Hernandez could be sidelined for “at least” two weeks.
The Dodgers are already missing Howie Kendrick and Yasiel Puig due to hamstring injuries, so it will be interesting to see if they make a last-minute deal before tonight’s waiver deadline. With that in mind, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal speculates that the Dodgers could make a run at Alejandro De Aza, who is also drawing interest from the Giants.
Hernandez has been excellent in a super utility role this season, batting .308/.350/.492 with six home runs and 21 RBI over 201 plate appearances.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly provided a dose of positive news on Tuesday afternoon in Cincinnati, informing Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that second baseman Howie Kendrick could be cleared for minor league rehab games by the end of this week.
Kendrick has been on the disabled list since August 10 with a strained left hamstring. If everything goes according to plan, he should be able to return to the Dodgers’ active roster the first week of September.
Los Angeles landed Chase Utley from the Phillies a week or so after Kendrick went down with the hamstring strain, but Utley is 2-for-14 (.125) so far and batting just .212/.276/.330 in 297 total plate appearances this year at age 36.
Kendrick, 32, was slashing .296/.341/.418 through 105 games this season for the Dodgers, who have dropped their last five and are only 1 1/2 games up on the Giants in the National League West.
On-base percentage is super important. It may be the most important single stat for batters. But there are limits to what a good OBP can do for you.
Take Dodgers rookie center fielder Joc Pederson. His OBP is a healthy .357 and in the month of August it’s a fantastic .413. But that’s almost all on walks. He’s walked 20 times in the month of August and has only two hits and 17 strikeouts in 41 at bats. His line for the month: .122/.413/.293. That’s profoundly weird — he’s walking more now and striking out less than he had been –but it’s not terribly useful, especially given the power expectations he set earlier in the season. He has only three home runs since the All-Star break. An All-Star break during which he appeared in the Home Run Derby.
Yesterday Don Mattingly benched Pederson, saying that Kiké Hernandez gives the team a better chance to win. Hernandez, for his part, is raking at the moment, hitting .327/.389/.551 this month, primarily filling in for Howie Kendrick at second base. With Chase Utley coming over to Los Angeles and with Kendrick due back eventually, Mattingly no doubt doesn’t want to lose Hernandez’s bat.
Just a weird year for Pederson. Say what you want about the tenets of becoming the second coming of a post-decline Adam Dunn, but at least it’s an ethos. Just not one helping a team with pretensions of hanging on to its lead in the NL West.
Word had already come down before Wednesday’s game between the Phillies and Blue Jays that Chase Utley was being traded to the Dodgers, but Utley elected to hang around with his Phillies teammates for the night. Now, after a 7-4 win in which Utley did not appear, the full details of the trade are out …
Los Angeles will cover around $2 million of the $6 million Utley was still owed by the Phillies. The 36-year-old can handle second base until Howie Kendrick returns from a hamstring injury and then operate as a veteran bench bat for the stretch run. Utley has slashed just .217/.284/.333 in 73 total games this season, but he’s been showing strong signs of life since returning 11 days ago from an ankle injury.
Darnell Sweeney, a 13th-round pick in 2012, is hitting .271/.332/.409 in 116 games this year at the Triple-A level. He is 24 years old. John Richy, a third-round pick in 2013, has a 4.20 ERA over 124 1/3 innings this season in High-A ball. He just turned 23. These aren’t really intriguing prospects.
Read more on Utley’s lasting legacy in Philadelphia at CSNPhilly.com.