Chris Taylor SS
Max Muncy 3B
Matt Kemp LF
Kiké Hernández CF
Yasiel Puig RF
Cody Bellinger 1B
Logan Forsythe 2B
Austin Barnes C
Ross Stripling P
by Rowan Kavner
The initial plan to get Justin Turner back in the lineup Sunday has pivoted a different direction.
Turner, who hasn’t started a game this series as he rests his sore left wrist, will be out again Sunday. His last start was Wednesday, and the hope is with the team’s day off Monday, he can return feeling better for the start of Tuesday’s series against the Rangers.
“For JT, could he play today? Yes,” Roberts said. “Is his wrist getting better? Absolutely. But I think that for us, having an off day tomorrow, having him available to hit today, not push it to gain that equity we’ve built in the last couple days, right now where we’re at makes sense.”
Roberts said right now, there’s no consideration for a disabled list stint. Part of that is the Dodgers have been covered from a position player perspective with the way the rest of the infielders have been playing.
That flexibility allows Roberts to rest Turner and also have the option of bringing him off the bench late, should he choose to do so.
“The last two days he really didn’t take a whole lot of swings,” Roberts said. “For me to talk to him this morning, he said there’s still some soreness in there. Just logic says if there’s some soreness in there and you crank it up and get going…it’s probably not going to get better. That residual soreness, I’m betting on taking today and another day with the off day, that it’ll dissipate come Tuesday.”
On the rotation
No pitcher in baseball who’s thrown at least 30 innings since the start of May has a better ERA than the starter the Dodgers are sending out Sunday with a chance to take the series from the Braves.
Ross Stripling last pitched Tuesday against the Pirates in a 5–0 Dodger win, striking out seven. It was his fourth consecutive win in his last four starts. In seven starts overall this year, Stripling has a 1.89 ERA with 49 strikeouts and four walks in 38 innings.
He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his six starts since the beginning of May, posting a 1.06 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 innings in that time.
Stripling’s pristine work has come at the most important time for the Dodgers, who have few other starters available. That seems like it will change soon, though.
The Dodgers don’t have a starter yet for Tuesday, but Kenta Maeda could return from the disabled list to make the start Wednesday, depending how his Sunday bullpen session goes.
Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill are also on the mend and trending positive directions. Roberts said Kershaw is in a better state of mind and a better place physically rehabbing this year from a back strain than he was at this point in the process last year.
The next step for Kershaw is a bullpen session, followed by a simulated game.
“I do know that to see him, the way he’s moving, the way he’s throwing the baseball, in talking to him the way he feels which is most important, all things that are very positive,” Roberts said. “What that means as far as when he comes back, I really can’t speak to that. But knowing we have close to four months left of the season and for Clayton to feel really good about the way things are going, I’m excited.”
Roberts also said he expects Alex Wood to be ready to make his next start.
“He’s going to continue to get better,” Roberts said. “He’s watching video and trying to clean up some mechanics.”