Padres center fielder Travis Jankowski hit the 10-day disabled list earlier this week with what the team called a “deep bone bruise” in his right foot, but there’s now a concern that Jankowski may have a hairline fracture as well, reports MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom. If that’s the case, the 25-year-old could be out more than a month. Bloom quotes manager Andy Green as saying the team doctors aren’t yet able to determine if there’s a fracture (perhaps due to the swelling), but they’ll be cautious either way. Even if there’s no fracture, it sounds as if Jankowski can expect to miss more than the minimum 10 days. “They told me I’d be in the boot for another week to 10 days,” Jankowski tells Bloom. Jankowski turned in a marginal performance at the plate in 2016, hitting .245/.332/.313 in 383 plate appearances, but he played strong defense in center field and provided significant baserunning value with 30 steals.
More on the NL West…
- Ian Desmond is nearing a return to the Rockies, manager Bud Black tells Nick Groke of the Denver Post. Desmond has been with the team but is splitting off to work at the team’s extended Spring Training complex this weekend, where he’ll begin playing in rehab games. According to Groke, Desmond will play multiple positions as he preps for the possibility of logging some outfield work in addition to his time at first base. Black tells Groke that Desmond is “closer than you think” to returning. Previously, Black has mentioned the possibility of Desmond working in the outfield against lefties to keep the Mark Reynolds’ hot right-handed bat in the lineup.
- Left-hander Alex Wood will make at least one more start for the Dodgers, manager Dave Roberts told reporters (link via MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick). However, it’s also possible that Wood, who tossed six one-hit innings against the Giants in his most recent outing, will remain in the rotation even when Rich Hill is ready to be activated from the disabled list. “I think Alex has done everything he can to warrant a case to continue to be in the rotation,” said Roberts. “…I can’t say with 100 percent confidence when Rich will be back as a starter. There is talk about Rich potentially coming back sooner in a role out of the ’pen and that would leave an opportunity for Woody — who has pitched really well — to stay in the rotation.” Roberts has suggested on multiple occasions that Hill could be eased back from his blister problems as a reliever, though given the magnitude of his contract and last season’s excellence as a starter, one has to imagine that the team would eventually prefer that Hill rejoin the rotation.
- Roberts also conceded the fact that outfielder Andre Ethier will be sidelined until June, “at the earliest,” as Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times writes. The Dodgers have been without Ethier since he was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his back late in Spring Training, and he’s yet to resume baseball activities more than five weeks after receiving an epidural injection. “The time that it’s taken, at this point, it’s almost like [he’ll need] a spring training again,” said Roberts. “…I’m not saying it needs to be a dedicated six weeks. But from the time of baseball activity, it’s easily fair to say [it’ll take] a month after that.” In Ethier’s absence, Andrew Toles has seen quite a bit of playing time, though he’s batting just .207/.258/.362 through 62 plate appearances.