Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor was diagnosed with a broken left foot, he told reporters (including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). He will likely be placed on the disabled list tomorrow; a timeline for his return is still unclear.
Taylor left last night’s game against the Rockies in the sixth inning. The club called the problem a swollen ankle at the time, but he had a CT scan this afternoon. The tests revealed the presence of a broken bone, an injury that looks set to cost him quite a bit of time. Los Angeles will surely provide more details on Taylor’s specific diagnosis and recovery outlook over the coming days.
Re-signed to a four-year deal in the offseason, Taylor again played a key role for manager Dave Roberts. He got the start for 56 of the club’s 79 games in left field, in addition to seven nods to center and right field apiece. Long noted for his defensive versatility, Taylor has played exclusively in the outfield this season, but has no doubt retained the ability to walk the infield should the club need it.
It hasn’t been a vintage offense for Taylor, who owns a .238/.319/.409 line through 285 plate appearances. He’s still walking at a steady pace and has had 19 doubles, but he’s hit a personal high of 35.4%. Nonetheless, Taylor’s five-year record of significantly above-average offense offered reason to believe he would rebound from a dwindling June.
It’s the second corner outfield injury in recent weeks for LA to navigate. Mookie Bets missed time with a small rib fracture, return over the weekend. While Roberts has suggested Betts could return as a second baseman to ease his pitching responsibilities, he has been placed in right field in two of three games since his reinstatement. The Dodgers dealt for Trayce Thompson platoon with Eddy Alvarez once Betts fell; the club has since selected Jacques Lamb (who starts in left field tonight) and shut out Alvarez, but they’re thinking of turning to another squad arrangement to handle left field in the short term.
Depending on Taylor’s recovery outlook, the Dodgers may look to the trade market for a more impactful recovery than Thompson. Ian Happ, Anthony Santander and André Benintendi are among the highest-impact regular outfielders who could be made available over the coming weeks. There is also the possibility of lead promotion to help fill the void. Michael Vargas, for example, hits great with Triple-A Oklahoma City and was touted as a potential alternative once Betts was injured. Vargas, a commercial baseman by trade, recently made two minor league starts in left field but otherwise played exclusively infield as a pro.