LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has nursing a sore left shoulder and is out of the starting lineup for Thursday night's series opener against the Reds.
The soreness is in Grandal's non-throwing shoulder, which is a good sign, and he has been dealing with it for a few days. Manager Don Mattingly and the training staff was worried that Grandal could be hampered on offense.
"We were trying to get to the lefty, but I don't want to get to the point where it affects his swing," Mattingly said. "When it got close to that, we knew we had to give him a day."
The switch-hitting Grandal is hitting .284/.389/.489 with 15 home runs this season, tied for first among major league catchers with Buster Posey with a .382 wOBA, and second to Posey with a 149 wRC+. Grandal is 2-for-17 with two walks in his last five games.
A.J. Ellis starts Thursday night for the Dodgers against right-hander Keyvius Sampson. Ellis, who has reached base by hit or walk in 14 straight games, usually gets his starts against left-handed pitchers. The last 17 times the Dodgers have faced a southpaw starter with both catchers active, Ellis has started 15 times and Grandal once, with Austin Barnes also starting once.
The Reds will have left-handed starters the next two days, with John Lamb called up Friday from Triple-A Louisville to make his major league debut, followed by David Holmberg on Saturday. So Grandal could get a bit of an extended rest if he needs it.
"We'll see. We face lefties the next two days," Mattingly said. "If it's something would linger, at least we're in a good spot."