PHOENIX — The recovery of Yasmani Grandal's strained right forearm has not progressed with the speed at which the Dodgers hoped, leading Manager Dave Roberts to cast doubt on his availability for opening day.
"Our hope was to get him back into a game on Monday," Roberts said Friday afternoon at Camelback Ranch. "But where he's at right now, I just don't see it happening."
The injury to Grandal does not appear to be long-term, as Grandal himself has insisted he could play if asked. But in the name of caution, he could open the season on the disabled list.
"Every player wants to be ready for opening day, and that's the hard date," Roberts said. "But it's not worth the price of not being ready to be 100% to go following that one particular day."
The Dodgers can mitigate Grandal's absence with the usage of A.J. Ellis and rookie Austin Barnes. Ellis figured to a catch a sizable portion of the games anyway while splitting time with Grandal.
Grandal sat out earlier this spring with the ailment and felt a recurrence while taking a swing last Saturday. The Dodgers told him not to swing or throw until Sunday at the earliest.
Roberts hoped Grandal could play in a minor league game Tuesday. If Grandal remained unscathed, he could join the team on April 4 in San Diego. But Roberts does not want Grandal to re-aggravate the condition once the season begins and cost himself a full 15 days on the disabled list.
"The workload has got to be tempered, because that's how he initially hurt it. At this moment, it's fine," Roberts said. "It's in and out. But the workload when you're playing in a game, you're catching nine innings, you're taking swings to prepare for a game, that impacts the forearm."
Seager could return to majors soon
Corey Seager did not run the bases or the play the field Friday, but he did take four more at-bats in a minor league game. Roberts maintained a confident stance about Seager's readiness for the start of the season, and suggested he could join the big league club in a game "in the next few days."
Seager indicated he does not feel any pain or swelling in his knee.
"You hope you have no setbacks, is I guess the way I'm moving forward," Seager said. "You don't really know, but you hope you're past the setback stage."
Kendrick shut down for weekend
Howie Kendrick will receive a few days off to rest his sore left calf, Roberts said. Kendrick was scratched from Thursday after feeling tightness in the area. He strained the muscles running through first base during a game against Kansas City on Tuesday.
"It's loosened up a lot since yesterday," Kendrick said. "I think the biggest thing is to get treatment on it, and hopefully it'll get better, quicker. It's just something that just popped up. But hopefully it's something that's not major."
Said Roberts: "It's going to be a couple more days with the calf. Like a lot of things, you don't want it to linger. You want to try to nip it."
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