We enjoy ribbing Dodgers manager Don Mattingly here for concealing even the most commonplace details of his game-to-game bullpen strategy. (Is Bronson Arroyo available tonight? Who knows?) This time, we get it.
Mattingly wouldn’t say whether or not Clayton Kershaw would be available out of the bullpen for Game 5 of the National League Division Series, two days after Kershaw pitched the Dodgers to a season-extending victory in Game 4.
“He’s here,” Mattingly said of Kershaw. “I’m not sure what we’ll do with him.”
SAN DIEGO — Yasmani Grandal would likely not be starting Sunday against the San Diego Padres regardless of his batting line. It’s a day game after a night game, A.J. Ellis hasn’t played in the series, and Brett Anderson (who hasn’t lost a game that Ellis has caught this season) is pitching.
As it stands, Grandal is hitless in his last 33 at-bats, including an 0-for-3 game Saturday in which he was hit by a pitch on his foot. Here’s what Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has noticed from Grandal during his slump:
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has struggled at the plate since he was struck by a foul ball in his left shoulder. (Associated Press photo)
CINCINNATI — The scary part about Yasmani Grandal
‘s left shoulder injury is twofold.
For one thing, it isn’t going away. The first time he missed a game back on Aug. 13, Grandal characterized the problem as a mere bruise. He only missed the one game and was back on the field the next day. But clearly, Grandal still wasn’t right at the plate. He collected one hit, a single, in his next 16 plate appearances, driving his slugging percentage to .471, the lowest it’s been since June.
The other problem, the really scary one, is that it isn’t just a shoulder injury anymore.
“It went down to the ribs, the back of my neck,” he said. “It started at the traps, went to the neck, back, left rib, right rib. The past couple days it’s gotten better.”
CINCINNATI — Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, who has 10 hits in 53 August plate appearances, might not be available Tuesday and Wednesday against the Reds because of a sore left shoulder.
Don Mattingly addressed Grandal’s health Tuesday afternoon:
Grandal first mentioned the symptoms to reporters on Aug. 13 and was given a game off that day as a precaution. At the time, Grandal said his shoulder was bruised when he was struck by a foul tip, and downplayed the issue as minor. He has one hit and three walks in 16 plate appearances since.
A.J. Ellis is behind the plate Tuesday catching Alex Wood.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn’t follow his usual script for catchers Yasmani Grandal (left) and A.J. Ellis this weekend. (Associated Press photo)
HOUSTON — Yasmani Grandal has caught Zack Greinke‘s last 15 starts, including Saturday, and 23 of 25 overall this season. He probably would’ve caught a 24th had he not missed a week in May because of a concussion.