Dodgers place Bellinger on IL with calf injury

April 9th, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers placed star outfielder on the 10-day injured list on Friday with a left calf contusion and recalled Luke Raley to the active roster. The move is retroactive to Tuesday.

Bellinger was taken out of the game in the ninth inning of Monday’s game after a collision with A’s pitcher Reymin Guduan on a close play at first base. Bellinger did some jogging and went through drills, according to manager Dave Roberts, and there has been “steady improvement” from the outfielder. But ultimately, after missing his third straight game, the Dodgers decided to place Bellinger on the IL.

“From all the tests we’ve received, it’ll be a short-term missing of time rather than the longer term, which is great news all around,” Roberts said.

The earliest Bellinger could return from the injured list is on April 16, when the Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Padres in San Diego. With Bellinger out of the lineup, Chris Taylor will get most of the reps at center field.

Bellinger isn’t the only Dodgers outfielder dealing with an injury. Mookie Betts is out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive game with a sore lower back. The injury occurred before Wednesday’s finale against the A’s. He’s considered day-to-day.

“Not high,” Roberts said, when asked about the level of concern with Betts’ injury. “I think that where we’re at, no player is going to feel 100 percent, but giving other guys an opportunity while making sure that Mookie -- it doesn’t get any worse, is most important.”

In Betts’ absence, the Dodgers are starting rookie Zach McKinstry in right field.

Roberts weighs in on Bauer report

The Athletic reported on Thursday that umpires in Wednesday’s game collected multiple baseballs used by Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer and sent them to Major League Baseball for review.

Bauer, who struck out 10 and allowed two earned runs over 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision against Oakland, has since taken to Twitter to refute any implication that he is the target of an investigation, stating that umpires have been collecting balls from every pitcher in the Majors in an attempt to cut down on the use of foreign substances. When asked about the story on Friday, Roberts backed up his pitcher.

“My understanding is that umpires collect baseballs from all pitchers and balls that were in play to collect samples, and that’s kind of what I get from it,” Roberts said. “I just hope that our player is not singled out. That’s the one thing I want to guard against.”

Roberts said he doesn’t expect Bauer to face any discipline from the league.

Around the horn

• The Dodgers announced their starting rotation for the rest of the weekend series against the Nationals, and it’ll be Clayton Kershaw starting on Sunday, not Dustin May, who would’ve been on five days' rest.

Roberts said the decision came because the team wanted to keep Kershaw on his regular routine. With Thursday’s off-day, Kershaw will be on normal days’ rest on Sunday. As for May, the right-hander won’t be available out of the bullpen. Instead, Roberts said he will be slotted back in and is “absolutely” still in the team’s starting pitching rotation.

• Right-hander Brusdar Graterol was at Dodger Stadium on Friday. He was there for the ring ceremony but was also on the field playing catch. Graterol, who is on the 10-day injured list, is “getting closer” to his return, according to Roberts, but there’s still no timetable.