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Notes: Thomas hits another HR; injury updates

@kengurnick
February 26, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the second time this week, non-roster outfielder Cody Thomas crushed a late-inning home run as the Dodgers pulled away from the Angels for a 9-4 win on Wednesday. The 25-year-old Thomas, who also homered on Monday, slugged a three-run shot in a six-run eighth inning. Thomas,

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the second time this week, non-roster outfielder Cody Thomas crushed a late-inning home run as the Dodgers pulled away from the Angels for a 9-4 win on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Thomas, who also homered on Monday, slugged a three-run shot in a six-run eighth inning. Thomas, a former backup quarterback at the University of Oklahoma, gave up football after the Dodgers signed the 13th-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft for $300,000.

Thomas played the entire 2019 season at Double-A Tulsa, where he slugged 23 home runs and hit .236, striking out 144 times in 474 at-bats. He will open the season in the Minor Leagues.

Zach McKinstry likely will as well, but manager Dave Roberts predicted his MLB arrival this year after he slugged a two-run triple.

“He’s kind of the model for what we like to do as far as moving guys around the diamond,” said Roberts. “He conducts good at-bats. There’s some sneaky power in there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with us this year at some point.”

• Utility man Chris Taylor missed his third game with mild forearm and biceps irritation caused by a check swing, but was able to take live batting practice on Wednesday and was hopeful of playing on Thursday.

• Pitcher Dustin May is temporarily shut down to allow his strained left side to fully heal. May came up sore after his first bullpen session. He was shut down after feeling less than 100 percent while playing catch.

• Outfielder Joc Pederson continues to nurse a strained right side that Roberts concedes has turned out to be more serious than originally believed, but Roberts said he’s still confident Pederson will be ready for the start of the season.

Clayton Kershaw makes his first Cactus League start on Friday and Alex Wood will piggyback in the same game against Milwaukee at Maryvale. Walker Buehler will make his first start on Saturday in a split-squad game against Colorado at Salt River. Also scheduled to pitch in that game is reliever Brusdar Graterol, making his Dodgers debut. The Dodgers also play another split-squad game on Saturday against Arizona at home, with Ross Stripling starting.

• Fred Claire, GM of the last Dodgers club to win the World Series, says he’s now on “the greatest team I’ve ever been involved with.”

The soon-to-be-released book, “Extra Innings,” is about Claire’s miracle recovery from cancer and his mission to shine a light on the cutting-edge, life-saving work performed at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte.

There’s plenty of baseball in the book to interest fans, and more than enough positivity and optimism to uplift anyone. Mascot Books is the publisher and the author is Tim Madigan.

Up next
Tony Gonsolin starts for the Dodgers on Thursday against the Indians and Jefry Rodriguez at Goodyear. Gonsolin is the Dodgers' No. 6-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The game will be broadcast on MLB.TV beginning at 12:05 PT.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.