Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood likely to return next week against the Reds

The Dodgers received two pieces of encouraging news about pitcher Alex Wood on Friday. One concerned his health. The other rewarded him for his performance.

In an examination back in Los Angeles, team doctors determined that the inflammation in Wood’s SC joint, which connects the sternum to the clavicle, was as “benign as possible,” manager Dave Roberts said before his team faced the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. The team expects Wood to rejoin the rotation by next weekend against the Cincinnati Reds.

And the team will welcome him back, because he has been one of their best pitchers. Wood was named the National League pitcher of the month for May. He won all five of his starts and posted a 1.27 earned-run average. He struck out 41 batters in 28 1/3 innings. He has not given up a run in 25 1/3 innings.

Cody Bellinger also won rookie of the month honors. When May began, Bellinger appeared close to a demotion, as players returned from the disabled list. His performance altered the initial plan. Bellinger hit nine home runs and drove in 27 runs with an .880 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in May.


“For him to make an impact so early for us, help us win a lot of baseball games, says a lot about taking advantage of an opportunity,” Roberts said.

Short hops

Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore was also examined in Los Angeles, where doctors diagnosed only inflammation in his forearm, without any structural concern for his elbow. “There was no nerve damage, no ligament damage,” Roberts said. “He’s in a good place. Just a couple weeks off, and it’ll be fine.” . . . Justin Turner (hamstring strain) ran the bases before Friday’s game, but Roberts indicated Turner is still moving at only 85%. He is not expected to be activated until after next week’s series with the Washington Nationals. The team has not determined when he will begin a rehabilitation assignment. “I just want to make sure he’s moving at 100% before he goes out,” Roberts said. . . .The Dodgers acquired pitcher Jason Wheeler from the Twins for cash considerations. To make room on the 40-man roster, the team transferred Rob Segedin to the 60-day DL.

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