Yasmani Grandal first missed time with left shoulder soreness back on Aug. 13 when he was scratched from the lineup in the series opener against the Cincinnati Reds. He started the following day and was on a regular playing schedule with occasional days off coming when the Dodgers faced a left-handed starter.
However, while Grandal was in the lineup, he was held hitless and didn’t appear to be fully recovered. The ailing shoulder was again an issue Aug. 25 and on Sept. 8, the catcher revealed there’s inflammation in his left shoulder.
Grandal returned to the lineup on Sept. 12 after missing five games, but again was held without a hit; though he did make solid contact and drew two walks. Grandal ended an 0-for-36 slump on Monday by going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly.
The 26 year old acknowledged hitting the ball hard helped build confidence and also credited the training staff for helping him adjust his batting stance, which in turn has alleviated some of the inflammation in his left shoulder.
“We’ve been working on a couple of different things, like changing the hitting stance a little bit. It doesn’t put so much strain on the shoulder,” Grandal said. “Obviously we had some inflammation in there and it kind of calmed down already. The training staff has done a good job. Hopefully going forward it stays the same.”
Grandal pointed to previous slumps endured in his young career as reason to key perspective with his skid this season. “I’ve been on pretty bad ones. I don’t really look into it,” he said. “I know I’m going to get out of it at some point. The main thing for me was building confidence with that new hitting stance.”
Grandal didn’t start Tuesday’s game, but still recorded four at-bats in the 16-inning affair, going 0-for-4 with one strikeout. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly expressed little concern over Grandal’s troubles in the plate, while adding he was pleased and encouraged by the catcher’s swings.
Including Wednesday, the Dodgers are slated to face a left-handed starter in each of the next three games.