Ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies, the Dodgers announced that second baseman Chase Utley has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
It’s not known exactly when or how Utley suffered the injury, nor do the Dodgers have a timetable for his return. The 39-year-old has handled the majority of playing time at second base this season, batting a lackluster .216/.302/.324 with one home run and 14 RBI in 126 plate appearances.
Utley’s injury might be of the “phantom” variety as the Dodgers used seven pitchers in Tuesday’s loss to the Phillies. Venditte helps reinforce the bullpen. Starter Kenta Maeda lasted only 1 2/3 innings on Tuesday due to a hip injury and was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday.
Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.
Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.
It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.
Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.