Bellinger, McKinstry begin Triple-A rehabs

May 22nd, 2021

After a rough couple of weeks, the Dodgers are back to their winning ways, finishing off an 8-1 homestand with a four-game sweep against the D-backs. They’ve also added new faces in Yoshi Tsutsugo and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols.

Soon, the Dodgers could be getting a pair of key contributors back in the lineup.

Star outfielder and utility man began their respective rehab assignments Friday with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Bellinger, who has been out since April 6 with a hairline fracture in his left fibula, batted second and played center field.

Bellinger will likely need a lengthier rehab due to the fact that he has not gotten many at-bats this season. The former MVP was working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery during Spring Training and didn’t appear in a game until March 15. Now he has missed nearly two months after just 21 regular-season plate appearances. Bellinger went 1-for-4 with an RBI single on Friday.

The Dodgers are going to make sure that Bellinger is 100 percent ready to play nine innings in the outfield, and they’re going to be certain that he can contribute at the plate as soon as he’s ready to be activated. In his absence, Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts will continue handling the center-field duties for the Dodgers.

McKinstry, on the other hand, batted third and played left field on Friday, going 0-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. The utility man won’t need as lengthy of a rehab assignment and it’s possible that he could return to the big league club in about a week. He will play second and third base, as well as both corner outfield spots during his rehab assignment.

He was a big piece for the Dodgers before going down with an oblique injury on April 21. McKinstry’s versatility freed the Dodgers up to get creative defensively. His offense was also a pleasant surprise. McKinstry was hitting .296 with three homers before the injury.

“I think they’re both ready to go. I think they’re both bored with the rehab, they want to get out and play,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “We’ll just see how it goes. Taking at-bats, seeing how they recover being on their feet and then we’ll kind of read and react then.”

Dodgers select Jones

After taxing most of their bullpen on Thursday, the Dodgers needed a fresh arm out of the bullpen. They decided to select the contract of right-hander , who was signed last week after a stint with the Braves earlier this season.

Jones, 35, went 0-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 appearances with the Braves this season. He struck out seven over 10 1/3 innings and walked 10. The veteran right-hander spent the 2020 season with the Reds after an eight-year stint with the White Sox.

To make room for Jones on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated infielder Travis Blankenhorn for assignment. Outfielder Luke Raley was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Jones on the active roster.

With Jones, the Dodgers had four arms available out of the bullpen for Friday’s game against the Giants, with Edwin Uceta, Dennis Santana and Blake Treinen being the others.