NL Notes: Lester, Kershaw, Urias, Dahl

The Cubs’ offense clicked in today’s home opener, but there’s still some cause for concern. Left-hander Jon Lester exited the game in the third inning due to tightness in his left hamstring, per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Lester had singled and scored in the prior frame, and Wittenmyer notes that the southpaw was slow to get up after sliding safely into home plate. More will be known after an MRI tomorrow, as Wittenmyer tweets. While Lester says he’s optimistic and isn’t even counting out making his next scheduled start, it seems safe to assume he’ll miss at least one outing. If that comes to pass, the Cubs would likely have to turn to righty Tyler Chatwood to make a start, given that Mike Montgomery is currently on the injured list due to a lat strain.

Here’s more from the NL …

  • Clayton Kershaw will make what is expected to be his final rehab start tomorrow for the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate, tweets Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. If Kershaw is indeed ready to be activated after that outing, he’ll step back into the rotation in place of fellow southpaw Julio Urias, Pedro Moura of The Athletic tweeted last night. Los Angeles hasn’t exactly felt Kershaw’s absence in the win-loss column, as they’re sitting at 8-2 on the season, but he’ll nevertheless be a boon to an already dangerous roster that sports baseball’s best run differential (+36). Urias has turned in two solid starts to open the year, but the Dodgers will be happy to take things slow given that he only returned from injury in time to record 15 2/3 total innings last year.
  • Rockies left fielder David Dahl exited last night’s game early due to an abdominal injury sustained on a swing, writes’s Thomas Harding. While the outfielder himself doesn’t believe he’ll need to miss an extended period of time, manager Bud Black offered a more cautious outlook, simply stating that the Rox have their “fingers crossed” and are hoping for a slight tweak as opposed to something like an oblique strain that would require a trip to the injured list. Dahl has been brilliant to start the 2019 season for the otherwise offensively challenged ballclub, raking at a .343/.385/.629 clip and getting a look as the team’s cleanup hitter. Should he require an IL stint, Raimel Tapia would figure to fill in during his absence.

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