One of the question marks heading into Game 5 of the National League Division is the status of Los Angeles Dodgers’ catcher Yasmani Grandal. He’s dealt with shoulder inflammation and liquid in his left shoulder since August, which has led him missing time due to lingering soreness.
“Yas is maybe a little bit more on the 50-50 line, depending on once he tests the swing and what he’s going to be able to do,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on a conference call on Wednesday.
“I don’t think catching’s going to be any kind of an issue. It’s just a matter of, is he going to be able to swing the bat pain free and just allow him to do what he’s capable of doing.”
In the first half of the season Grandal slashed .282/.401/.526 with 14 home runs and 36 RBIs. His performance early on earned the 26 year old an All-Star bid, but with lingering shoulder pain his numbers dropped in the second half of the season.
An injured Grandal posted a .162/.280/.218 line with two home runs 11 RBIs during the second half of the season. As Grandal began to slump, A.J. Ellis found his footing at the plate.
The catchers have split the four games of the NLDS thus far, with the start in Game 5 figuring to go to Grandal given he caught the bulk of Zack Greinke’s starts this season. However if Grandal, who is 1-for-8 with four strikeouts in the series, has trouble swinging the bat, it may be enough to prompt Mattingly to turn to Ellis in the winner-take-all game.