Ríos to have season-ending shoulder surgery

May 13th, 2021

The injury hits keep coming for the Dodgers, as the club announced Wednesday that infielder will undergo surgery next week to repair a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder. He will miss the remainder of the season.

As he was in the middle of an extended slump, Ríos was placed on the injured list on May 5. At the time of the injury, Ríos was hitless in his last 37 plate appearances, with his batting average dropping all the way down to .078.

“I think that, as I talked to Edwin and kind of got more color on it, I think [the shoulder] had a big part to it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said last week, when asked if the shoulder injury impacted Ríos’ performance. “He’s not an excuse maker, so he’ll never use it as an excuse. But I certainly believe that the shoulder affected performance largely.”

Before the Dodgers came to terms on a new free-agent deal with over the offseason, the team had Ríos penciled in as the primary option at third base. Even after Turner signed, the plan was to use Ríos heavily in order to keep the 35-year-old Turner as fresh as possible over the course of the 162-game grind.

But Ríos was never able to get things going at the plate this season. The Dodgers are expecting a full recovery and that he’ll be a full participant when the team takes the field next Spring Training.

In his absence, will handle some of the backup third-base duties, while will be tasked with the backup first-base reps behind . Ríos is the second Dodgers player to sustain a season-ending injury; underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.

Dodgers reach vaccination threshold
During his pregame Zoom video conference, Roberts announced that his club has reached the 85 percent vaccination threshold.

Before the season, clubs were informed that MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to relax certain health and safety protocols contained in the 2021 Operations Manual for fully vaccinated Tier 1 Individuals (players, coaches, managers and those in direct contact with those people) and for clubs where 85 percent of their Tier 1 individuals are fully vaccinated. As part of that memo, players and staff were again strongly encouraged to receive one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines when eligible.

Getting to the threshold is not just good for the overall health, but Roberts believes it could serve as an advantage, as the team is less likely to experience an outbreak.

“I think that we were very mindful of that coming into this season, in trying to get to that 85 percent, while all along, respecting people’s personal decisions,” Roberts said. “But ultimately to get to this point, the more guys you’ve had vaccinated, [it can help you] kind of stay away from a situation like that.”

Injury notes

• May took to social media to announce that his Tommy John surgery went well on Tuesday. Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery in Los Angeles. May will miss the remainder of the 2021 season and most of the ‘22 campaign.

“I haven’t talked to him yet. I think his phone has been blowing up, so I’ll let a couple of days get by us and then I’ll reach out to him,” Roberts said. “From my understanding, the surgery couldn’t have gone any better. I’m excited for Dustin to, kind of, get that behind him and now, you know, work towards healing and strengthening.”

(right forearm) is still in the “catch-playing” phase of his rehab. The right-hander will continue to rehab in L.A. and will then travel to Arizona when the team heads on the road following the current nine-game homestand.

(hamstring) will face hitters on Friday at Dodger Stadium. If that goes well, the Dodgers could choose to activate him as early as Monday or Tuesday.