Dodgers’ Jason Heyward could be headed to IL with back injury – Orange County Register

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LOS ANGELES — Scans on Jason Heyward’s bothersome back on Monday “came back negative,” according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. But the outfielder is most likely headed to the injured list in the next few days.

“We’ll see. Unless something really changes. The last couple days, it hasn’t been good,” Roberts said of Heyward, who has been bothered by persistent back stiffness for the past week. “Tomorrow, we’re going to have to ultimately make a decision.”

The Dodgers will have to make that decision because they acquired a potential replacement for Heyward (at least temporarily) in Taylor Trammell, another left-handed-hitting outfielder. The Dodgers claimed Trammell on waivers from the Seattle Mariners.

Once a highly-touted prospect, the 26-year-old Trammell did not make the Mariners’ season-opening roster and was designated for assignment last week. He is out of options and will have to go on the Dodgers’ active roster when he arrives. Players have 72 hours to report to a new team.

The Cincinnati Reds’ first-round pick in the 2016 draft (35th overall), Trammell was traded to the San Diego Padres and then the Mariners before making his big-league debut in 2021. In parts of three seasons with the Mariners (totalling 116 games), he hit just .168 with 15 home runs and a .639 OPS. He has fared much better in Triple-A where he had a .274 average, .887 OPS and 38 home runs in 178 games.

The Dodgers will face a left-handed starter on Wednesday (Kyle Harrison) so Heyward (or Trammell) would not be in the starting lineup anyway.

LEFTY RELIEF

As part of adding Trammell, the Dodgers released left-hander Matt Gage. Gage had not pitched this season due to an elbow issue that could limit his availability going forward.

Gage was acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade for Caleb Ferguson last winter. Ferguson is one of four left-handed relievers the Dodgers have traded away since last season along with Victor Gonzalez, Bryan Hudson and T.J. McFarland (who was not going to make the Dodgers’ roster and would have triggered an opt-out clause).

Gage’s release left the Dodgers with just two left-handed relievers on their 40-man roster – Ryan Yarbrough and Alex Vesia. Yarbrough is used in a multi-innings role. Vesia did not pitch particularly well in spring training and has walked four, hit a batter and thrown a wild pitch in his first 2⅓ innings this season.

“I think between Yarbs and Vesia’s track record we came into the year feeling very good about it. We’re not going to overreact to the first couple games,” Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes said on Monday. “Ves isn’t throwing the way he knows he’s capable of or we know he’s capable of. But we have full faith in him that he’s going to go out there and perform the way he has in the past.”

A day after those comments, the Dodgers traded for left-handed reliever Nick Ramirez, acquiring him from the Yankees for cash considerations.

The 34-year-old Cal State Fullerton product was squeezed out of the Yankees’ bullpen by Ferguson and Gonzalez this year but had a 2.66 ERA in 40⅔ innings last year – despite reverse splits that saw left-handers hit much better against him (a .308 average and .819 OPS) than right-handers (.221 and .542).

In order to add Ramirez to the 40-man roster, the Dodgers moved right-hander Brusdar Graterol to the 60-day IL.

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