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Dodgers open season with nine players on the injured list

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers Workouts Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers finalized their opening day roster on Thursday, and in doing so placed pitchers Tony Gonsolin, Ryan Pepiot, Daniel Hudson, Jimmy Nelson, and Alex Reyes on the 15-day injured list, giving the team nine players on the injured list to open the season.

Pitchers Walker Buehler, Blake Treinen, and J.P. Feyereisen were all placed on the 60-day injured list on February 16. Shortstop Gavin Lux, who is expected to miss the season with a torn ACL and sprained LCL in his right knee, was placed on the 60-day injured list Thursday to make roster room for Jason Heyward, who made the team as a non-roster invitee.

Gonsolin sprained his left ankle during workouts on March 6, and residual swelling slowed his return, because he couldn’t put any pressure on the ankle.

“It’s been a long, slow build up so far, but it’s getting better every day,” Gonsolin told Kirsten Watson on SportsNet LA on March 22. “Trying to make small progressions when I can. It’s not like I’m not pushing it to withstand some more things and get better quicker, but trying not to overdo it, and find that right balance.”

Gonsolin resumed throwing off a mound on Friday.

Hudson is returning from a torn ACL in his left knee, which ended last season for him in June. But while rehabbing his left knee, he developed right ankle tendinitis that slowed him in camp. The right-hander, signed to a one-year, $6.5-million deal with a club option for 2024, did not pitch in any Cactus League games.

If all goes well, both Gonsolin and Hudson could be back in late April.

Pepiot was a new addition to the injured list Thursday, in that he started Tuesday’s Freeway Series finale against the Angels having already won the fifth starter job over Michael Grove. Pepiot is on the injured list with a strained left oblique, and Grove is on the active roster.

Reyes is recovering from surgery to repair a frayed labrum last May. The right-hander signed a one-year, $1.1-million contract with the Dodgers in February after missing all of 2022 with the Cardinals. He’s a long-term play.

“Once you get off the mound, it starts to become more real,” manager Dave Roberts said of Reyes on Monday. “Right now, he’s doing a lot of plyo work and strengthening.”

Nelson re-signed with the Dodgers in February for one-year, $1.2 million. The right-hander hasn’t pitched since July 2021, since recovering from Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair. Nelson couldn’t find the strike zone this spring, walking 11 of his 21 batters faced with no strikeouts in his five Cactus League games in Arizona.

“Myself and all of us really have to appreciate what he’s been through. Coming back from Tommy John, the execution and command, that’s going to come,” Roberts told SportsNet LA on March 19. “We completely believe in him. He’s going to figure it out, and he’ll be fine, but it’s going to take some time.”

Nelson did end his spring training on a high note Tuesday in Anaheim, retiring all three batters he faced, including a strikeout. The right-hander will be with the team on opening day at Dodger Stadium before heading to Camelback Ranch to rehab.