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NL West Notes: Heyward, Graterol, Treinen, Snell, Montgomery


Dodgers right fielder Jason Heyward has not played since Saturday. According to Bill Plunkett of The Orange Country Register, Heyward wasn’t even at the stadium on Monday night, as the Dodgers welcomed the Giants for the first matchup of a three-game set. Heyward, 34, has been dealing with a stiff back for about a week. On Monday, he went to get his back checked out, and manager Dave Roberts said he would “probably get some imaging” (as relayed by Plunkett). Presumably, the Dodgers will know more about the severity of his injury later tonight or tomorrow.

If Heyward needs a stint on the injured list, the Dodgers will likely recall Miguel Vargas from Triple-A. Formerly a top infield prospect, Vargas began taking some reps in left field in 2022 and has continued to work in the outfield. A right-handed hitter and inexperienced outfielder, Vargas cannot play the same role as the lefty-batting, Gold Glove-winning Heyward. Still, he can provide the Dodgers with an extra body for the outfield, likely splitting time with Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernández.

In more positive news for the Dodgers, Plunkett reports that right-handed relievers Brusdar Graterol and Blake Treinen are making progress as they recover from a shoulder injury and a bruised lung and ribs, respectively. Graterol is getting ready to throw off a mound tomorrow, while Treinen “might throw lightly off a mound” sometime before Thursday.

In other news from around the NL West…

  • Reigning NL Cy Young and new Giants ace Blake Snell will make his first start of the season on Monday, manager Bob Melvin told reporters (including Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area). He has already begun facing minor league hitters, and he will pitch in a simulated game against his own teammates on Wednesday before taking on the Nationals next week. The southpaw joins a Giants rotation that already features last year’s Cy Young runner-up Logan Webb, highly-touted rookie Kyle Harrison, and flame-throwing reliever-turned-starter Jordan Hicks.
  • Speaking of star free agents who signed too late to pitch in spring training, Jordan Montgomery was unable to throw a proper simulated game this afternoon due to poor weather, but he still got in 50 pitches over three up-downs, reports Alex Weiner of Arizona Sports. Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic adds that Montgomery is scheduled to make his first start for Triple-A Reno on Sunday. The Diamondbacks have not said how many starts the lefty needs before he is MLB-ready, but during his introductory press conference, Montgomery himself said he was eyeing April 19 as the date for his return (per Weiner). Indeed, Robert Murray of FanSided reports that the 2023 World Series champion has a clause in his contract that requires him to be in the majors by April 19. However, Montgomery will presumably stay in the minors a little longer if it is what’s best for his long-term health and performance.

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