Dodgers lose five-time Gold Glove winner to injury

    The Dodgers announced that outfielder Jason Heyward has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to lower-back tightness. His roster spot goes to outfielder Taylor Trammell, who was claimed off waivers from the Mariners Tuesday.

    Heyward, 34, hasn’t played in any of the club’s past three games due to a stiff back. He was sent for some imaging, and manager Dave Roberts relayed that the scans came back negative, but it seems the Dodgers will give him some time to rest up. IL placements can be backdated as much as three days if the player hasn’t been playing. Assuming the Dodgers backdated Heyward’s transaction, he could be back in a week if he heals up quickly.

    After years of struggles with the Cubs, Heyward had a bounce-back year with the Dodgers in 2023. He hit .269/.340/.473 for a wRC+ of 121, though largely in a platoon capacity. The left-handed hitter stepped to the plate 349 times against righties but just 28 times against southpaws. The Dodgers were impressed enough to re-sign him on a one-year, $9M deal over the winter.

    The Dodgers started out this year using Heyward in right field against righties, with Teoscar Hernández in left field. With a left-handed starter on the mound, Hernández would take right with Chris Taylor in left.

    Trammell hits from the left side and could perhaps take over the role Heyward was in previously. He has struggled in the big leagues but has actually been decent with the platoon advantage, hitting 14 home runs in 261 plate appearances while walking at an 11.1% rate. He has struck out at a 36.4% clip and his batting average isn’t pretty, but his .193/.292/.434 line against righties does translate to a 106 wRC+. At Triple-A last year, Trammell slashed .256/.396/.540 against righties compared to .239/.331/.425 against lefties.

    The Dodgers could also opt for the more experienced Taylor to take over Heyward’s playing time, despite him hitting right-handed, as he has fairly even platoon splits in his career. He’s hit .256/.331/.424 against righties for a 106 wRC+ and .247/.332/.444 versus lefties for a 110 wRC+. But having Trammell will give them another option and perhaps allow the club to move Taylor around to other positions. Trammell is out of options and may end up designated for assignment again when Heyward gets back. If Trammell manages to stick around, he has under two years of service time and can be controlled for another four seasons beyond the current campaign.

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