The big news for the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to Friday’s game with the Colorado Rockies was the return of closer Kenley Jansen. While manager Don Mattingly previously said the intention was to reinstate Jansen from the 15-day disabled list Saturday, the decision ultimately came down to having Daniel Coulombe for an extra game or activating Jansen now that Pedro Baez was lost to the DL.
“Just the fact he’s [Jansen] basically rested,” Mattingly said. “And it was either going to be, with Pedro going out, it was either going to be Daniel for another day or have Kenley… Pretty easy choice, really.”
Although the Dodgers now have the services of their unquestioned closer, the plan is to still ease Jansen back into the role. The right-hander last converted a save in Game 2 of the 2014 National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Slowly working Jansen back into the high-leverage role is something the 27 year old is on board with. “For me it’s better that way. To get at least one inning to get my feel back again of being in the big leagues,” Jansen said prior to Friday’s game.
As for still-injured Dodgers, Brandon Beachy is expected to throw live batting practice this weekend for the first time in his recovery from a second Tommy John surgery. Beachy isn’t yet scheduled for a Minor-League assignment and the Dodgers are remaining cautious with his rehab.
“It [Beachy’s recovery] was scheduled to be longer,” Mattingly said. “We’re taking our time with him and we’re still taking our time.” At the time of signing the right-hander Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi suggested Beachy would return around the All-Star break.
Hyun-Jin Ryu has yet to resume throwing and the Dodgers aren’t sure when that will begin. “We’re in the question mark phase of when he’s going to throw again,” Mattingly said. Carl Crawford, recovering from a torn oblique, is working out at the club’s Spring Training complex in Arizona but not performing baseball activities.
Mattingly added Crawford will return to the club once he can participate in such workouts. Fellow ailing outfielder, Yasiel Puig also isn’t taking part in baseball activities.
In other matters, Yasmani Grandal is catching Clayton Kershaw Friday for the third time in eight starts for the reigning National League MVP this season. Grandal has also started every game since May 11 and eight of the last 10.
Mattingly said some of that can be attributed to Grandal’s emergence at the plate and weather-affected games. The manager has spoken with both Grandal and A.J. Ellis regarding the plan for the next 10-12 days and the elder backstop is expected to see his share of time behind the plate in the coming games.
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