Get ready, Los Angeles Dodgers fans. Spring Training play officially begins on Saturday, Feb. 25 when LA takes on the Milwaukee Brewers. Michael Grove will be on the bump. A new-look group of position players will take the field.
Except ... will Miguel Vargas be ready for the spring opener? He suffered a hairline fracture in his pinky after taking a ground ball off his hand earlier this week. Manager Dave Roberts said he wouldn't swing a bat for a few days but would be able to take reps in the field.
Well, as of Friday, Vargas still hasn't picked up a bat. Though his defense remains sharp, if he can't step into the batter's box by Saturday, his spring debut will likely have to wait.
Vargas said his finger has been improving every day, which is promising, but the Dodgers have big plans for the 23-year-old, so he won't be playing in games until the team's medical staff is absolutely sure.
If we were to bet, don't count on seeing Vargas in spring training action until next week. He's already starting the year at a completely new position that's going to heavily dictate how the Dodgers construct their infield and outfield alignment.
Will Miguel Vargas be ready for the Dodgers' spring training opener?
The Dodgers have now had two playoff runs derailed because of injuries. They're not going to risk getting off to a slow start in 2023 with a roster that already still has many questions to answer. Vargas is one of those questions that needs to prove he's ready for an everyday role.
Vargas said he's confident he'll be ready for Saturday, but the team already proved it was acting with caution when they sent the slugger for an MRI after initially determining it wasn't necessary. Everything thankfully checked out and Vargas' status will be determined by pain tolerance (and we'd imagine management of the swelling/stiffness).
The Dodgers-Brewers opener on Saturday doesn't start until 12:10 PST, so fans probably won't know Vargas' availability until that morning. Stay tuned for updates in the meantime, but no reason to fret if he's not ready to go from the jump. There are a lot of other position battles and storylines to shift your focus to.