By Jon Weisman
Two weeks since Jimmy Rollins has been able to play shortstop, one day after Howie Kendrick returned to second base from a five-week absence, the Dodgers also face renewed health concerns at first and third base.
Adrian Gonzalez is day to day with back stiffness, Don Mattingly told reporters today, and Justin Turner is hobbled by soreness in his left knee. Steve Bourbon of MLB.com has more on Turner.
Turner said the knee started to stiffen up on him after he hit a double in the first inning, and the soreness just got worse as the game went along.
“Sliding into second, it didn’t feel great,” Turner said. “As the game went on and on, it just got worse and worse, so I figured just get out of there and try not to do anything too bad to it. … It just got unbearable.”
As to whether this is something that Turner will have to play through for the rest of the season, Turner was unclear.
“I hope not. Hopefully take some medicine, calm down for a day or two and then get back on the horse,” Turner said. “But right now, yeah. I probably won’t play [Sunday].”
Turner fouled a ball off his left knee in the same spot, and he said he didn’t know if this soreness is related to that or not. …
Turner’s recurring knee issues are a reason the Dodgers have sought to rest him every few days ever since he became the regular third baseman. Mattingly indicated to reporters that Turner could miss a couple of games or more, though he might be available to pinch-hit sooner. The Dodgers have no off days remaining before the end of the regular season.
The 30-year-old Turner has hit only two home runs in 111 at-bats since returning from the disabled list August 13, and he had a two-week slump near the end of August in which he went 4 for 42 with four walks and one home run. Since then, however, he has bounced back with a .411 on-base percentage and five doubles.
The Dodgers do get Scott Van Slyke, bothered by a right hand cyst, back in the lineup for his first start since September 13, taking the place of Gonzalez against Pirates ace right-hander Gerrit Cole. Van Slyke has never faced Cole before, while Gonzalez has a double and a walk in nine plate appearances against him.
Gonzalez has a .379 on-base percentage and .536 slugging percentage in his past seven games. He has started 138 and played in 144 of the Dodgers’ 147 games this year.