The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a scare in Friday’s Cactus League matchup against the Oakland Athletics, as Corey Knebel was struck by a line-drive comebacker just two batters into his relief appearance.
The right-hander was immediately removed but all signs are he dodged a serious injury. “It was a love handle contusion, is what I got from the training staff,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“As I understand it right now, it was best-case scenario when you’re talking about a line drive off the body. I think he played catch today, so he will pitch in a game, if all goes well, in the Freeway Series. I think it will be either Sunday or Monday, is my guess.”
The update on Knebel is a big exhale for the Dodgers, who already are dealing with multiple injuries in the bullpen.
Acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers over the offseason, Knebel has looked like his old self in Spring Training, posting a 1.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work.
The 29-year-old previously spoke about his confidence in the Dodgers helping him get back to his pre-injury form, and the early results have been nothing short of promising.
Graterol, Kelly beginning season on injured list
While Knebel appears to have avoided a potential stint on the injured list, the same can’t be said for Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly, who will be sidelined to begin the regular season.
The pair of right-handers essentially were behind from the moment camp opened in February. Roberts declined to provide specifics but noted Graterol was unable to have any semblance of a throwing program during the offseason, which set him back once Spring Training began.
“There were just some things that I don’t think are right for me to speak to. Some physical things, nothing orthopedically that set him back a little bit,” Roberts explained this spring.
Kelly, meanwhile, has been saddled by an unspecified injury. This marks a second time in Kelly’s career with the Dodgers that the team has not disclosed what physical ailment he is dealing with.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, participate in our shows and giveaways, and more!