Dodgers' Howie Kendrick could start season on disabled list

The media session of Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts on Sunday began as many others have this morning. Roberts smiled as he greeted a group of assembled reporters. Then he took inventory of his various injured players.

The most newsworthy note to emerge from Roberts' address is the status of Howie Kendrick, who has not been cleared to resume baseball activity as he nurses a tight left calf.

Kendrick will not join the team in Anaheim on Thursday for the start of the Freeway Series with the Angels. He will remain in Arizona to play in minor league games, and Roberts has not ruled out Kendrick beginning the season on the disabled list.

"I'm not concerned," Roberts said. "But that's an option."

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Yasmani Grandal (right forearm inflammation) could meet a similar fate. Roberts indicated Grandal will be allowed to resume playing catch Monday. He sounded more upbeat about Grandal than he did on Saturday, when Roberts suggested the team probably would need to start the season with A.J. Ellis and Austin Barnes handling catching duties.

"We can go either way, but I still am hopeful that there's still ways to maneuver at-bats and things like that [so Grandal can] start opening day with us," Roberts said.

The Dodgers could backdate a disabled list for both players, and each would be available on April 9.

Roberts indicated Yasiel Puig and Enrique Hernandez could return to the lineup Monday night against the Texas Rangers. Puig sat out Saturday because of tightness in his left hamstring. Hernandez has been sidelined because of rib cage soreness after getting hit by a pitch.

Hernandez indicated the injury was just a bruise.

"I'm still a little tender from it," he said. "Of course, with the 35 other injuries we've had they want to be cautious. Considering that I am everybody's backup. They want to make sure that not everybody gets hurt."

He was not joking. Hernandez is the primary backup for shortstop Corey Seager, who is still recovering from a left knee sprain. Seager played six innings in a minor league game Saturday and will play six or seven more innings in the minors Monday. Roberts expected Seager to break camp with the team and play in the Freeway Series.

Hernandez managed to find levity in the situation.

"I might go out tomorrow and swing out of my [backside] and break my rib," Hernandez said. "But I'm good."

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