It’s “very unlikely” outfielder Alex Verdugo will return for the Dodgers’ National League Division Series matchup, manager Dave Roberts told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com and other reporters Friday (Twitter links). The rookie originally landed on the injured list Aug. 6 with a right oblique strain, but a back injury has slowed him of late. Meantime, southpaw Rich Hill – who’s dealing with a strained left MCL – will undergo an MRI on Monday. It seems iffy at best that Hill will avoid a lengthy absence, as a strained left MCL previously shelved him for the first month of the season. The injury-prone 39-year-old then missed almost two months with a forearm problem. His start Thursday, when he recorded just two outs, was his first since June 19.
Here’s more from the National League…
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provided a couple injury updates Friday on the Brewers, who are now a game behind the NL’s second wild-card position (Twitter links). Top starter Brandon Woodruff is still on track to return in the next week, but it’s unclear whether he’ll start or relieve. Woodruff will throw a bullpen session Saturday as he continues working back from the oblique strain he suffered July 21. And catcher Manny Pina, out with a concussion since Sept. 5, isn’t recovering as quickly as the team hoped he would, according to manager Craig Counsell. The Brewers have “to stack some good days in a row” for Pina before he’s capable of returning, Counsell said. Milwaukee has been in fine shape behind the plate without Pina, of course, as it boasts one of the game’s elite catchers in Yasmani Grandal.
- The Cubs promoted executive Jason McLeod to senior vice president of player personnel, which could keep him in their front office for at least a little while longer. But McLeod said this week that his goal is to run a team’s baseball department, per Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic (subscription required). “I do aspire to someday lead an organization,” said McLeod, who has been on GM-needy clubs’ radars in the past. He interviewed for that position with the Giants last year, though they instead went on to hire Farhan Zaidi as their president of baseball operations.
- Padres rookie Chris Paddack will make at least one more start this season, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com tweets. Shutting Paddack down for the year looked like a possibility after he threw six scoreless innings against the Cubs on Wednesday. The rookie standout, 23, has now racked up 135 2/3 innings this season, easily surpassing the previous professional high of 90 he set in 2018 as a minor leaguer.