Wood likely to re­turn next week against the Reds

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Andy McCul­lough andy.mccul­lough@la­times.com Twit­ter: @McCul­loughTimes

MILWAUKEE — The Dodgers re­ceived two pieces of en­cour­ag­ing news about pitcher Alex Wood on Fri­day. One con­cerned his health. The other rewarded him for his per­for­mance.

In an ex­am­i­na­tion back in Los An­ge­les, team doc­tors de­ter­mined that the in­flam­ma­tion in Wood’s SC joint, which con­nects the ster­num to the clav­i­cle, was as “be­nign as pos­si­ble,” man­ager Dave Roberts said be­fore his team faced the Milwaukee Brew­ers at Miller Park. The team ex­pects Wood to re­join the ro­ta­tion by next week­end against the Cincin­nati Reds.

And the team will wel­come him back, be­cause he has been one of their best pitch­ers. Wood was named the Na­tional League pitcher of the month for May. He won all five of his starts and posted a 1.27 earned-run av­er­age. He struck out 41 bat­ters in 281⁄3 in­nings. He has not given up a run in 25 1 ⁄3 in­nings.

Cody Bellinger also won rookie of the month hon­ors. When May be­gan, Bellinger ap­peared close to a de­mo­tion, as play­ers re­turned from the dis­abled list. His per­for­mance al­tered the ini­tial plan. Bellinger hit nine home runs and drove in 27 runs with an .880 on-base-plus-slug­ging per­cent­age in May.

“For him to make an im­pact so early for us, help us win a lot of base­ball games, says a lot about tak­ing ad­van­tage of an op­por­tu­nity,” Roberts said.

Short hops

Dodgers re­liever Adam Lib­er­a­tore was also ex­am­ined in Los An­ge­les, where doc­tors di­ag­nosed only in­flam­ma­tion in his fore­arm, with­out any struc­tural con­cern for his el­bow. “There was no nerve dam­age, no lig­a­ment dam­age,” Roberts said. “He’s in a good place. Just a cou­ple weeks off, and it’ll be fine.” . . . Justin Turner (ham­string strain) ran the bases be­fore Fri­day’s game, but Roberts said Turner is still mov­ing at only 85%. He is not ex­pected to be ac­ti­vated un­til af­ter next week’s se­ries with the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als. The team has not de­ter­mined when he will be­gin a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion as­sign­ment. “I just want to make sure he’s mov­ing at 100% be­fore he goes out,” Roberts said . ... The Dodgers ac­quired pitcher Ja­son Wheeler from the Min­nesota Twins for cash con­sid­er­a­tions. To make room on the 40-man ros­ter, the team trans­ferred Rob Segedin to the 60-day DL.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea Getty Im­ages

ALEX WOOD, who soon could be back in ro­ta­tion, was named the NL pitcher of the month for May.

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