Chris Taylor is back in the Dodgers lineup on Friday night, starting at second base and batting fifth after missing 27 games on the injured list with a fracture in his left foot.
Taylor’s rehab from the injury culminated in a short assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Two games with OKC was deemed enough for Taylor, who homered twice in Salt Lake on Wednesday.
“You never know with a player how long the rehab’s going to be. He had two games in OKC, we flew a hitting coach out with him. All signs point toward he’s ready to go,” manager Dave Roberts said earlier Friday on MLB Network Radio. “He’s excited, and we’re excited to have him back.”
Starting at second base is significant in that Taylor played only in the outfield this season through Tuesday, as an attempt to protect his elbow following offseason surgery. In his final rehab game in Triple-A on Wednesday, Taylor played four innings at second base and three innings at third base.
Taylor is hitting .238/.319/.409 this season, a 105 wRC+ with 19 doubles, three triples, and six home runs. He last played for the Dodgers on July 4.
To make roster room for Taylor, outfielder James Outman was optioned to Triple-A after an incredibly productive first stint in the majors. Outman started four of the six games for which he was active, and reached base in each one, collecting six hits in 13 hits, including two doubles, two walks, a hit by pitch, and six runs scored.
Outman also was the eighth Dodger to homer in their first major league at-bat, part of a momentous first two games that saw the outfielder etch his name alongside other memorable franchise debuts.
“Just the joy with him, and how the players — his teammates — was cool to see,” Roberts said of Outman on MLB Network Radio.