With the regular season winding down, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain hopeful starting second baseman Howie Kendrick will return from a left hamstring strain sooner rather than later. Kendrick was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10.
Dodgers manager Don Mattigly said recently the second baseman hit a plateau in his recovery, though it was soon after followed with news Kendrick would resume testing his hamstring by running bases at the club’s Spring Training complex and be reevaluated.
The 32 year old was unable to run pain-free, but according to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA, Kendrick was able to participate in a simulated game on Tuesday:
Kendrick faced right-handed pitcher Jeremy Kehrt, a 29-year old who made 22 starts for Double-A Tulsa this season. Kehrt threw roughly 45 pitches, manager Don Mattingly said, allowing Kendrick to get roughly nine or 10 at-bats.”
Mattingly said Kendrick isn’t having trouble at the plate and there weren’t any real limitations to the simulated game:
Howie isn’t having any trouble swinging the bat, taking ground balls or all that,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He didn’t know what was coming, [Kehrt] changed speeds on him. We told the kid to try to get him out.”
The fifth-year manager added Kendrick is expected to participate in another simulated game with more tests to follow:
We’ll just continue what we’re doing. He’ll have another [sim game] this week, I think we’re talking Friday,” Mattingly said. “Then after the off days he’ll have some baseball activities, then see where he’s at.”
Prior to suffering the injury, Kendrick was in the process of putting together a solid campaign in his first year with the Dodgers as he batted a .296/.341/.418 with nine home runs and 49 RBIs.
With Kendrick on the shelf, the Dodgers traded for Chase Utley, and have also relied on Kiké Hernandez and Jose Peraza to help fill the void; though Hernandez also landed on the DL with a strained hamstring and Peraza has been saddled by hamstring soreness.
While there isn’t a set timetable on Kendrick’s return, Mattingly has exuded optimism and stated his belief the second baseman will be reinstated before season’s end. The Dodgers’ final regular-season game is Oct. 4 against the San Diego Padres.