Justin Turner is expected to return to the Dodgers’ lineup on Tuesday, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick tweets. The third baseman hasn’t played since September 7 due to a left ankle sprain, so it will end up being a seven-game absence for Turner. Still one of the game’s better hitters (.291/.370/.514 with 27 homers in 538 PA) in his age 34 season, Turner is likely to get further rest time over the last couple of weeks if necessary, as the Dodgers obviously want him fully healthy and prepared for the postseason. [UPDATE: Turner’s return on Tuesday isn’t a sure thing, as manager Dave Roberts told the Los Angeles Times’ Jorge Castillo and other media that Turner’s ankle is still bothering him.]
The Dodgers have long since punched their ticket for October, but let’s check in some teams still fighting to reach the playoffs and dealing with some injuries along the way…
- Jason Kipnis will receive an MRI on Monday after leaving today’s game due to discomfort in his right wrist, as per multiple reporters (including MLB.com’s Mandy Bell). Kipnis has been battling tendinitis in the wrist and missed a few games with the ailment earlier this month. If Kipnis is forced to miss time, he’ll be not only miss some of the stretch run of the Indians’ pennant race, but also potentially his last two weeks in a Cleveland uniform. The former All-Star has hit only .245/.304/.410 over 511 plate appearances as the Tribe’s regular second baseman, and after three straight years of subpar batting numbers, it is widely expected that the team will decline its $16.5MM option on Kipnis’ services for 2020.
- Craig Kimbrel had no setbacks during a 20-pitch bullpen session today, Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy told MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian and other reporters. Right elbow inflammation has kept Kimbrel on the shelf since September 1, though he is now tentatively slated to toss a simulated-game scenario against hitters later this week. Theo Epstein said earlier in the weekend that the Cubs are “pretty optimistic” that Kimbrel can return before the end of the season, but nothing is yet certain about the closer’s status.
- Mets manager Mickey Callaway told Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News and other reporters that there is “no timeline” on a potential return for Robert Gsellman, though they “haven’t ruled out him coming back” in 2019. A partial lat tear seemingly ended Gsellman’s season back in mid-August, though the reliever has been playing toss with no ill effects reported. With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, the odds are still against Gsellman getting back into New York’s bullpen, though there’s at least some hope now rather than last month’s more grim diagnosis.