Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez, a pair of Dodgers veterans recovering from herniated disks, took batting practice on Sunday afternoon. Both are likely to begin rehabilitation assignments in August, with Gonzalez expected back from the disabled list before Ethier.
Ethier is likely to be activated when the rosters expand in September.
Manager Dave Roberts watched the session before Sunday’s game against San Francisco. Gonzalez also took part in a simulated game with nine at-bats. Ethier impressed Roberts with the intensity of his approach.
“For Adrian and Andre, just seeing the aggressive swings, seeing pitches come at them for the first time live, that was a good step in the right direction for both those guys,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers placed Gonzalez on the 60-day disabled list on Saturday. Gonzalez, who hasn’t played since June 11, is eligible to return on Aug. 11. He has homered once this season. He is expected join triple-A Oklahoma City later this week for rehab games.
Ethier, who injured his back in late March, has not played for the Dodgers this season. He missed the first five months in 2016 after breaking his leg last spring. He returned as a pinch-hitter for the playoffs. Ethier will compete to play a similar role in 2017.
Kershaw plays catch again
Clayton Kershaw played catch for the third day in a row, as he increases activity while recovering from a lower back strain. Kershaw will not join the team on the road during visits to Atlanta and New York this week. Kershaw said he expected to meet the team in Arizona next week to continue his rehabilitation program.
Roberts declined to reveal the next step of Kershaw’s rehab. The team has not announced a timetable for his return.
“What the next progression is, that’s for the training staff,” Roberts said.