Sore back no longer an issue for Thompson

Outfielder expected back in Dodgers' lineup on Tuesday

Sore back no longer an issue for Thompson

CHICAGO -- Trayce Thompson didn't start for the second straight game Monday during a 2-0 loss, but he was available off the bench for the Dodgers and is expected to start in left field Tuesday in the second game against the Cubs.

Thompson, who's hitting .286 with six home runs and 14 RBIs in his last 22 games, was removed from Saturday's game against the Mets in the fifth inning because of back soreness. He didn't play in the series finale on Sunday.

"Trayce is better," manager Dave Roberts said before the series opener Monday against the Cubs. "He could've played today. He's available in every capacity. For me, I just wanted to give him another day and give [Carl Crawford] an opportunity to go out there. I like the matchup of him vs. [Cubs starter Jason Hammel]."

Roberts said he plans to start Thompson in left field on Tuesday, with Howie Kendrick getting a start at third base. Kendrick will also see some time in left field, according to Roberts.

Worth noting

• The Dodgers' usual pregame routine was different thanks to a short turnaround from their game Sunday night in New York and the opener of the four-game series at Wrigley Field. Most of the team arrived later than usual to the ballpark and there wasn't a full pregame batting-practice session. Hitters took BP in the batting cages, infielders took ground balls and outfielders did some exercises in the outfield to get loose.

"We normally would [take BP], but ... you weigh getting on the field for batting practice versus getting guys rested, and you've got first-day meetings," Roberts said. "For me, I thought it was more important to get guys settled in here."

Yasmani Grandal started behind the plate Monday, but he will not start all four games against the Cubs. A.J. Ellis is expected to start Wednesday in the third game, catching right-hander Mike Bolsinger.

• Right-hander Frankie Montas and left fielder Alex Guerrero are nearing the end of their Minor League rehab assignments. Roberts said he didn't know the plan for either once their rehab assignments end, but he should find out in the near future. Roberts said outfielder Scott Van Slyke (back) will report to the Dodgers when his rehab ends.

Brian Hedger is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.