Dodgers News: What’s going on with Jason Heyward? LA ditches former Padres reliever

Los Angeles Angels v Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Angels v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Dodgers trounced the rival Giants on Monday night thanks to some small ball and the continuation of Teoscar Hernández's early-season slugfest in the bottom of the sixth. In his debut as a Dodger, offseason addition James Paxton gave up four hits and five walks over five innings, but kept a zero on the board for the Giants. Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and Hernández are all still one-dotting.

Conspicuously absent from all the fun, though, is Jason Heyward, who was projected to be a staple toward the bottom of the lineup for the duration of his one-year contract with LA. However, Heyward hasn't been in the lineup since Saturday, after sitting out on Friday. Per Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register (subscription required), Heyward was completely absent from Dodger Stadium on Monday. What gives?

According to Dave Roberts, Heyward has been dealing with a back issue for a week, was out on Monday to get it checked out, and would get "some imaging" to see if the issue runs deeper than stiffness. We might be on IL watch.

Jason Heyward has been out of the Dodgers lineup since Sunday with "back stiffness"

If Heyward goes onto the IL, that will probably give Miguel Vargas another shot at the big leagues after moving to the outfield during spring training, but spring breakout Andy Pages may also be another name to watch. In 81 games last season, Vargas never quite lived up to expectations at the major league level but, unlike Pages, does have big league experience in his corner. Pages put up a .471/.571/1.000 line in spring training with two home runs and nine RBI over just seven games.

This is certainly not ideal for Heyward, who is 34 and only re-signed with the Dodgers for one year. In his four games so far this season, he's hit .214/.200/.214 with two RBI. The slow start could have something to do with the back issue, but neither are ideal for a team that needs him to pick up the bottom of the lineup and be the player he was last year, when he hit .269/.340/.473 with 15 home runs.

Dodgers DFA Nabil Crismatt, call up Dinelson Lamet

A different Dodger who will be absent for the foreseeable future is Nabil Crismatt, the righty LA brought up at the expense of Kyle Hurt, who was optioned back to Triple-A on Sunday. Crismatt pitched two innings in the Dodgers' last game against the Cardinals that same day, giving up only one hit and striking out three. It was a promising performance for a minor-league-signing-turned-major-league-callup, but the Dodgers either found something to quibble with or just want to keep that last bullpen spot open for experimentation.

They DFA'ed Crismatt on Monday afternoon and called up righty Dinelson Lamet, who closed out the game against the Giants on Monday night. He walked Mike Yastrzemski, who eventually scored on a Jorge Soler sac fly, to lead off the ninth, but otherwise kept damage minimal. Crismatt will probably land back in Triple-A if he clears waivers, and we may see him again if the Dodgers keep the revolving door open.