The Los Angeles Dodgers opened a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves, which presented a refreshing break from a schedule that’s been loaded with National League West opponents. After concluding their homestand Wednesday night, the Dodgers will travel to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for the first time this season.
While the Dodgers currently are without Yasmani Grandal, that may change come the weekend. “The last I heard he was not going to catch in any of those games,” Mattingly said of Grandal, who is going to DH for Triple-A Oklahoma City during a three-game stretch (Tuesday-Thursday).
Mattingly explained the reasoning behind Grandal only DH-ing as a precaution. “We don’t want to risk Grandal getting struck again with him still being on the seven-day concussion disabled list,” he said. “The longer he can go without any sort of jolt, the better his chances of not having reoccurring concussions as easily.”
Grandal completed catching drills under the watchful eye of the training staff at Dodger Stadium prior to Monday’s game. He’s successfully cleared each hurdle to this point and believes he’ll be activated from the DL Saturday.
The update on Grandal comes one day after Mattingly also provided news of relief pitchers Pedro Baez and Joel Peralta inching toward their respective returns. “Pedro is pain free and I think he’s going to start a slow throwing program,” Mattingly said. “He’s starting to throw.”
Baez was placed on the disabled list May 14 with a strained right pectoral muscle. He expressed confidence in the likelihood he’d be ready to return at the conclusion of the DL stint, and may be within a few days of the so-called target date.
Meanwhile Peralta, who has been on the DL since April 26, appears to be slightly ahead of Baez. “Peralta is starting to throw, and play catch,” Mattingly said. “So, he’s moving forward.” The Dodgers have pushed forward without the pair of right-handers by continuing to rely on Yimi Garcia and recent returnee Kenley Jansen.
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