Dodgers Injury News: Walker Buehler, JD Martinez, Rojas, Smith, and More
As the Dodgers play their final game in the month of April, they do so with some positive updates on a few injured players. Before Saturday night’s game, Dave Roberts shared the latest news with media. Here’s where things stand with a few Dodgers on the mend.
Why is Will Smith the DH?
First, let’s talk Will Smith. The catcher was activated off the injured list on Friday but started at the DH spot as he makes his way back from being sidelined for two-plus weeks with concussion symptoms. He started there again on Saturday night, but the expectation is that he’ll be back behind the plate on Sunday to catch Noah Syndergaard.
Roberts also said he expects Will back there again on Monday catching Tony Gonsolin against the Phillies.
Why is J.D. Martinez Not in the Lineup?
The usual DH is working through lower back tightness and was placed on the injured list on Friday after missing the entire series in Pittsburgh. Roberts said that he expects JD back in the lineup on Friday the 5th in San Diego for the first meeting against the Padres of the season.
Martinez talked to reporters on Friday about the injury, saying that he should have recognized the issue when it happened during the game but decided to be a hero and try to gut it out. And for that, he’ll miss at least 10 games.
He’s not currently swinging the bat as the team looks to put the injury to bed.
Will Walker Buehler Pitch This Season?
Good news on the Walker Buehler front! The All-Star right-hander was at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. His throwing progression in his return from August 2022 Tommy John surgery is up to 150 feet. Dave Roberts said Buehler got up to about 88 miles-per-hour on his throws. Yeesh.
So, could Walker return this year? Here’s more Dave.
“I don’t know that answer but I hope that’s the case.”
For what it’s worth, Buehler has said he’s doing everything he can to come back this season. At least without hurting his future.
Where is Miguel Rojas?
Injured shortstop Miguel Rojas started a minor league rehab stint with the Low-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Saturday where he was expected to play 5 innings of defense at short. He may also DH for the Quakes on Sunday, depending on how he feels. He went 1-4 on Saturday. That hit was a home run.
One nugget from Dave was that when Rojas returns — which is expected to be on Monday — he likely won’t come back as the everyday shortstop. “There has been a lot of soft tissue [injuries] and we’ve got to find a way to keep him healthy.”
That creates more opportunities for Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts up the middle in a strange shortstop trio for LA.