The Dodgers placed outfielder Alex Verdugo on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with a strained right oblique as their injuries continue piling up. Corner infielder and outfielder Edwin Rios was recalled from triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Verdugo on the roster.
Verdugo sustained the injury attempting to avoid a groundball on the basepaths Sunday in the Dodgers’ win over the Padres. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated the rookie would likely miss at least two weeks.
Verdugo, 23, is batting .294 with 12 home runs and an .817 on-base-plus-slugging percentage while providing plus defense in the outfield. He joins Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, David Freese, Ross Stripling, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill on the injured list. Ryu is expected to be reinstated Sunday. The others’ timelines are unclear.
“It’s more, you got to let it heal up and give it time for it to heal and then resume activities,” Roberts said. “So that’s the tough part when you’re talking about rotation, whether it be throwing or swinging a bat. So with Alex, we got to take our time and make sure we get this behind us.”
Without Verdugo, who had settled into left field since center fielder A.J. Pollock’s return last month, the Dodgers will turn to a combination of Matt Beaty, Joc Pederson and Rios in left field. Beaty started in left field Monday and Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Dodgers are also closely managing Pollock since he suffered a groin injury last week. He was not in the lineup Tuesday for the fourth time in five games.
Rios rejoined the Dodgers on Tuesday for his second major league stint after a scorching stretch with Oklahoma City. The 25-year-old batted .342 with 10 home runs and a 1.265 OPS in his last 19 games. He went four for 15 with four walks in eight games for the Dodgers before he was optioned last month.
“He’s really taken to staying in the strike zone,” Roberts said. “We’ve had conversations about that when he was here. And he really took it to OKC. He’s getting on base, he’s slugging, using the big part of the field. So all those things we knew he was capable of doing.”
SETBACK FOR STRIPLING
Stripling was scheduled to go on a rehab assignment Tuesday but the plans were scratched because his neck trouble resurfaced. Stripling has been officially on the 10-day injured list with right biceps tendinitis since July 25, but he initially dealt with neck soreness. The neck problem forced him to exit his start — on July 24 — after five innings.
BARNES FINDING STROKE
The Dodgers sent Austin Barnes to triple A on July 25 after a months-long slump hoping he could solve his problems at the plate. His last four games for Oklahoma City are encouraging. The catcher is eight for 18 and has a home run in each of his last four games. He hit five home runs in 70 games for the Dodgers.
“It’s great to see Austin playing the way he is,” Roberts said. “Every player wants to be in the big leagues but I think there’s a lot of power in just going out there and playing every day and not worrying about what the scoreboard has for your average and expectations up here. So it’s good to see Austin just take this opportunity to get right.”