Earlier this season the Los Angeles Dodgers outfield withstood injuries to Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig that kept both players out several weeks. Now the infield is similarly being forced to make due without two expected starters in Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner.
Turner initially missed a few games before landing on the 15-day disabled list July 31 due to an infection in his leg, while Howie Kendrick was placed on the DL with a strained left hamstring Aug. 10 — one day after suffering the injury.
Both players have been instrumental to the Dodgers’ success and both are on opposite ends with regard to getting back on the field. “I’m hearing grade one to grade two,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of the severity of Kendrick’s hamstring strain.
“Not really sure about a timetable, but in general with a hamstring you just assume for me at least, a bare minimum of three weeks [missed]. I’m sure it will be more than that, but we’ll see as we go along.” That estimate puts Kendrick on track for a mid-September return, which is a daunting reality for a team that’s heavily relied on the second baseman.
Kendrick is batting .296/.341/.418 with nine home runs and 49 RBIs in 105 games played. Meanwhile Turner, who’s built on the success he had in 2014, could be back in uniform come the weekend series with the Cincinnati Reds.
Mattingly said Turner took live batting practice at the club’s Camelback Ranch Spring Training facility on Tuesday and he was later seen in the Dodgers dugout during the game against the Washington Nationals. “We’ll have a couple of more days kind of going through things,” Mattingly said of Turner’s return. “And hopefully have him by this weekend.”
With Turner sidelined the Dodgers used both Alberto Callaspo and Alex Guerrero at third base. Mattingly previously indicated Kiké Hernandez will receive the first opportunity to fill in for Kendrick at second, with Callaspo and even Turner also getting a look at the middle infield position.