Bellinger scratched with side discomfort

March 3rd, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers MVP outfielder was scratched from Monday’s starting lineup against the Reds with a sore side, which manager Dave Roberts said was not a big deal.

“He’s fine,” said Roberts. “He felt a little something on his body when he was doing his early work. He wants to play, but we just feel if we give him today and the off-day tomorrow, he’ll be back in there Wednesday.”

Roberts said Bellinger’s injury was unrelated to his Sunday night participation in Albert Pujols’ Top Golf charity event.

"It's really not a big deal,” Roberts said. “Cody wants to play. There is no gain. It just makes no sense. I don’t think it’s Top Golf. I really don’t."

Bellinger has proven to be incredibly durable over the past two seasons, playing 162 games in '18 and 156 last year.

Roberts declined to comment when asked how he would react if one of his players was injured golfing.

After Monday’s 6-2 loss to the Reds, Roberts said it was “not imperative” that Bellinger play in Wednesday night’s game.

• Joc Pederson has not played in a game yet because of a strained hip and side, but the outfielder said he continues to progress. He has been taking batting practice in the cage at 80 percent effort and was expecting to resume running.

Pederson would not speculate when he would be ready for game action, but he said he expected it to begin on the Minor League side in a controlled environment.

• Dustin May continues to be sidelined with a strained side muscle, virtually assuring he will not open the season with the big league club.

• Roberts said he remains optimistic about Jimmy Nelson’s availability at the start of the season, although Nelson is coming off three seasons of injuries and is well behind all other active pitchers, especially considering Roberts still views the right-hander as a starting pitcher.

• Alex Wood will pitch Wednesday afternoon in a game against a visiting Korean team, while Clayton Kershaw will start in the Wednesday night Cactus League game. That will aid in lining up Wood, the anticipated fifth starter, and Kershaw, the anticipated Opening Day starter. Tony Gonsolin will throw three innings on Tuesday in a Minor League game.

• Fourth starter Julio Urias retired only two batters in a shaky Cactus League debut. He was charged with two unearned runs after an error was charged to third baseman Justin Turner. Urias also allowed a hit, a walk and had one strikeout.

“A little bit of a command issue,” said Urias. “The fastball was running. There were some balls I thought were strikes, but the umpire didn’t agree with me. I felt good, actually better than in my last live [batting practice], but it just wasn’t my day.”

Urias said he continues working on the reintroduction of a semi-windup after pitching out of the stretch last year.

“Julio’s fine,” said Roberts. “Getting him into a normal routine, he’s going to get better. We’ve just got to keep running him out there.”

• One-time top pitching Cuban prospect Yadier Alvarez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Minor League camp. Alvarez was designated for assignment on Saturday, one day after being unable to pitch one inning in a Cactus League game with an unspecified muscle strain while trying to get loose. The Dodgers signed Alvarez for $16 million plus a $16 million penalty in 2015.

• Non-roster infielder Omar Estevez has been shut down with a sore throwing shoulder.

Up next
The Dodgers have a day off on Tuesday and resume play Wednesday night with Kershaw starting against the Giants at Camelback Ranch at 5:05 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on MLB.TV and available via Gameday Audio.