LOS ANGELES ― Freddie Freeman’s batting average fell more than 20 points, from .322 to .291, in the two weeks prior to Sunday’s game. He’s one of two Dodgers, along with Trea Turner, who hasn’t gotten a day off this season. Is now the time?
Easier said than done, Manager Dave Roberts said.
“He definitely resists,” Roberts said of Freeman. “Now we’re at the end of this long stretch. He’ll obviously get the off-day (Monday). I think in about a week or 10 days we start a long stretch.”
The Dodgers will play 20 games in 20 days, including nine away from home, from June 21 until July 10. Roberts said “there might be a conversation” with Freeman about taking a day off then.
Shortstop Trea Turner is the only other Dodger player who hasn’t missed a game this season. Both players are in the lineup again Sunday against the New York Mets.
Turner’s offensive production (a .319 batting average, .379 on-base percentage, .513 slugging) has remained remarkably steady amid a stretch of 30 games in the 29 days entering Sunday.
“For a player like Freddie or Trea, you have to hear the player. You have to trust them,” Roberts said. “Certainly performance is paramount, but them posting and being in the lineup poses a threat. Freddie really understands that, and values that. So do I.
“Anybody could’ve argued that he should have been down (Saturday) but he got two hits. Look back at this stretch where he hasn’t been getting hits, there’s been some hard contact. There’s been some outs that could’ve gone the other way. It’s hard to argue with having Freddie Freeman in the lineup every day.”
Andrew Heaney reported no issues after his three-inning rehab appearance Saturday with Triple-A Oklahoma City. The left-hander threw an extra inning in the bullpen afterward, and will attempt to pitch four innings in his next start, Roberts said.
Clayton Kershaw will make his first and perhaps only minor league rehab start Sunday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Roberts said he is “hopeful” Kershaw can rejoin the Dodgers’ rotation afterward, with his first start coming no earlier than Sunday’s game in San Francisco.
Kevin Pillar will have surgery Tuesday on his left shoulder, which he fractured sliding into third base Wednesday. Roberts said Pillar’s season is over “for all intents and purposes.” The 33-year-old outfielder played just four games after having his contract selected from Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 28. The injury followed Pillar’s only hit with the Dodgers, a double. … Justin Turner’s hamstring tightened up Saturday night, and was limited to DH duties Sunday. Eddy Alvarez started at third base instead. … Blake Treinen (shoulder) played catch from a distance of 60 feet.
Dodgers (RHP Mitch White (1-1, 4.79 ERA) at Chicago White Sox (RHP Michael Kopech, 1-2, 2.20), Tuesday, 5:10 p.m., SportsNet LA, TBS, 570-AM