The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated Howie Kendrick from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kendrick strained his left hamstring on Aug. 9, the finale of the Dodgers’ three-game set with the Pirates at PNC Park.
Kendrick was placed on the disabled list the following day and endured a lengthy recovery period. The 32-year-old second baseman struggled to overcome lingering soreness and tightness in the hamstring, and it was reported at the end of August his recovery had plateaued.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly maintained throughout the process Kendrick would return this season, pointing to mid-September as a likely timeframe for that. Over the last two weeks Kendrick participated in three simulated games.
He ran the bases at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, which included running curves — often the last hurdle for a player coming off a hamstring strain to clear. Both Kendrick and Mattingly had a positive review of the session, with Mattingly stating how Kendrick felt Thursday would determine the next course of action.
Given that High-A Rancho Cucamonga is the lone Dodgers’ Minor-League affiliate still playing, sending Kendrick out on a rehab assignment at this point wasn’t the most plausible scenario. Mattingly did previously state sending the veteran second baseman out on a rehab assignment solely for at-bats wasn’t a top priority this late in the season.
Kendrick missed a total of 34 games and brings the Dodgers’ active roster to 36 players. He’s batting .296/.341/.418 with nine home runs and 49 RBIs and currently has a five-game hitting streak. Chase Utley is listed as the starting second baseman for Friday’s game.