LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers expect to activate Austin Barnes from the injured list the first game he’s eligible, according to LA manager Dave Roberts.
Barnes, placed on the IL on May 27 with a left groin strain, is scheduled to play two rehab games with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday and Wednesday before rejoining the Dodgers on Friday in San Francisco for the team’s series opener against the Giants.
“I expect him to be in the lineup on Friday, catching Clayton [Kershaw],” said Roberts.
Barnes’ return will result in Will Smith getting optioned back to Triple-A. Per Roberts, the Dodgers are lined up to face a number of right-handed pitchers within the next couple of weeks, meaning it makes more sense to keep the left-handed-hitting Matt Beaty around. But another key factor is also influencing the decision.
“Probably most important is to get Will regular at-bats,” said Roberts. “He was a September call-up in Triple-A last year, didn’t perform well. Off to a great start this year, and [he’ll] continue to get to finishing school. But for him to get an opportunity this time and to play well and to get his feet wet at the big league level, I think, is a great thing. So yeah, I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense to carry three catchers.”
Surgery for Cingrani
Reliever Tony Cingrani will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder sometime in the next week, according to Roberts. Cingrani has missed the entire season with a left shoulder impingement and will not pitch again in 2019.
“He and the docs decided it was the best course of action for the short term and the long term," said Roberts, who expects Cingrani to make a “full recovery.”
Cingrani experienced shoulder issues throughout the 2018 season, missing about 15 weeks total.
Turner pinch hits
For the fourth game in a row, Justin Turner wasn’t in the Dodgers’ starting lineup as he nurses a tight left hamstring. He pinch-hit in Sunday's 8-0 win over the Phillies, drawing a walk in his lone plate appearance, and Roberts expects that he’ll start on Monday when the Dodgers face D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray.
“That’s just more of just how we’re playing, guys are playing, to get those guys continuing to go, and not put [Turner] in harm’s way at all,” Roberts said of the choice to not start his third baseman again.