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Dodgers place Yoshi Tsutsugo on injured list, transfer Scott Alexander to 60-day IL

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Earliest Alexander is eligible to return is July 2

St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers activated Tony Gonsolin off the injured list to start Wednesday’s game against the Pirates, giving them a full, five-man starting rotation for the first time in five weeks.

Yoshi Tsutsugo was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right calf strain to make room on the active roster. But because Gonsolin was on the 60-day injured list the Dodgers needed to make room on the 40-man roster as well. That came by transferring left-hander Scott Alexander to the 60-day IL.

Outside of occasionally walking, Tsutsugo has been mostly terrible at the plate since he was acquired from the Rays on May 15. The 29-year-old corner man has three singles in 25 at-bats with 12 strikeouts and six walks with the Dodgers. He’s started six times in left field and played once in reserve at first base, totaling two innings.

Tsutsugo averaged ... home runs in ... seasons in Japan before signing with the Rays before 2020. But his two years in the major leagues have been rough, hitting .181/.291/.315 with eight home runs in 303 plate appearances over 89 games. When Tsutsugo was acquired from the Rays, Dave Roberts said the Dodgers hitting coaches had ideas about how to fix Tsutsugo’s swing.

It’s been a tough task, especially with playing time extremely limited. Tsutsugo has played in 12 of the Dodgers’ 19 games since he was activated, collecting only 31 plate appearances. He started six times in left field, but hasn’t started since May 28. The returns of Cody Bellinger, Zach McKinstry, and AJ Pollock pushed Tsutsugo further down the depth chart.

“Getting him consistent at-bats was hard,” Roberts said Wednesday. “This could be a positive in the sense it gives us an opportunity to get him on a rehab once he can go, take regular at-bats, and see what we’ve got.”

Alexander has a 2.31 ERA and 63.2-percent ground ball rate in 13 games this season, with left-handed batters just 3-for-25 against him, hitting .120/.154/.280. He’s was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 6 with left shoulder inflammation, retroactive to May 3. Alexander has been rehabbing at Camelback Ranch in Arizona for the last few weeks.

“He’s coming. Feeling better,” Roberts said of Alexander on Tuesday. “Just don’t expect Scott back until the end of June, first couple days of July.”

By transferring Alexander to the 60-day injured list, the first day he’s eligible to be activated is July 2.