Thumbs-up for baseball’s semi-new concussion program. Catcher Yasmani Grandal was activated Saturday from the seven-day concussion disabled list -- a program started in 2011 -- and immediately placed in the starting lineup.
To make room for him on the roster, the Dodgers sent outfielder Chris Heisey back to triple-A Oklahoma City yet again. That means they kept Austin Barnes and will at least temporarily carry three catchers.
Grandal suffered what was termed a mild concussion May 22 when he first took a bat to the side of the head on a back swing and then a foul to the catcher’s mask. He took a few days off and then played in three rehab games as a designated hitter for Oklahoma City.
A.J. Ellis did the bulk of the catching while Grandal was out. Ellis went two for 15 while Grandal was on the DL.
This is the third time this season the Dodgers have shuttled Heisey back and forth to the minors, though it could prove the last time. Heisey is four days shy of five years of major-league service time, a mark that would allow him to refuse another minor-league assignment.
Heisey, 30, received four at-bats in his latest stint, going hitless, since being called up Wednesday.
Grandal is hitting sixth against the Cardinals in St. Louis, though the bigger lineup news is that struggling Jimmy Rollins (.210) has been moved from second in the order to eighth.