CM – Dodgers’ Dave Roberts: Don’t « box » Cody Bellinger for Tuesday’s return

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PHOENIX – Cody Bellinger can return from his last injury on Tuesday. But he couldn’t.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Bellinger was making progress in his recovery from an undisplaced rib fracture on his left side. However, it may not be enough for him to be ready to get off the injured list on Tuesday if he is eligible.

« It’s moving forward, probably not at the pace we’d all like, » said Roberts. “Progress is good. But I just don’t want to get him to play on Tuesday.

Bellinger played three games after sustaining the injury when he collided with Gavin Lux in an outfield game during the Dodgers’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 13. After first saying he could play through the injury based on his pain tolerance, Dodgers placed Bellinger on IL Tuesday (retroactive to his last appearance in a game).

Earlier this week, Roberts raised the possibility that Bellinger might start bats at Camelback Ranch this weekend during the Dodgers series in Arizona. But on Friday he said the expectation was that the battling NL MVP of 2019 will be doing punch training with the team at Chase Field before Saturday’s game.

Chris Taylor was not in the starting XI for the ninth time in the past 11 games. But Roberts said Taylor had improved enough to be available from the bench « in any capacity » on Friday and would start in midfield on Saturday.

The Dodgers have replaced the old « rookie hazing » road trip with a costume trip, in which all the participants of the tour group of recent years took part. The flight from Denver to Phoenix on Thursday evening was this year’s opportunity to dress up.

The highlights included a « Sons of Anarchy » homage from the starting rotation (Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer and Julio Urias), Captain America (closer to Kenley Jansen), the Grinch (Joe Kelly) and the Fresh Prince of Be Luft (Will Smith of course). Roberts wore a retro Earl Campbell Houston Oilers shirt and soccer uniform.

« I chose Earl Campbell because he was my father’s favorite player when he was a child, » said Roberts of his father Waymon, who passed away in March 2017. “I bought the jersey when he was alive, so I wanted to wear it. I got a pair of Broncos football pants, the high socks.

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Edwin Rios joined the Dodgers on the field for their training prior to Friday’s game at Chase Field.

He underwent end-of-season surgery in May to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and did rehabilitation for most of the summer at CBR. Rios is not authorized to start a throwing program or swing a club. He said he expected to start throwing in October and meet early enough in the fall to have a pretty normal off-season before signing up for full strength spring training.

Rios, 27, had big problems this season before undergoing surgery. He was 4 for 51 (.078) with just one extra base hit (a home run). However, in parts of 2019 and 2020 he hit .260 with a .972 OPS and 12 homers in just 123 at-bats.

Dodgers (LHP Clayton Kershaw, 10-7, 3.27 ERA) at Diamondbacks (RHP Zac Gallen, 2-10, 4.53 ERA), Saturday, 5:10 pm, SportsNet LA, 570 AM

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