Ted Lilly’s most glaring fault Monday night wasn’t getting shelled for three innings before having to exit a 12-2 loss to the Rockies with back pain. It was the silence the Dodgers starter maintained about tightness in his back since making his first start of the season five days earlier.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was none too pleased to discover after the series opener against the Rockies that Lilly, who began the season one the disabled list due to left shoulder labrum surgery, hadn’t informed the Dodgers training staff of his ailment following a five-inning outing against the Mets a week ago in which he only allowed one run.
“He can’t just keep that to himself,” Mattingly said. “Then at least we know going in to the game that we possibly should have a guy that can go four or five innings, instead of having to use the whole group.”
When Skip Schumaker was tipped off after Monday’s seventh inning he might be called on to pitch, he was already tired – from playing second base.
The fifth Dodgers reliever in the 12-2 loss to the Rockies was a part-time closer at UC-Santa Barbara and a starting pitcher at Aliso Niguel High School.
“I wasn’t very good but I could throw hard. Everybody said I was a one-tool player – I could throw,” Schumaker said. “I grew up a Dodgers fan watching Orel (Hershiser), so to be on the same mound he was, was pretty neat.”
Chris Capuano continued to throw Monday at Dodger Stadium and is expected to start for the Albuquerque Isotopes on Wednesday. It’s the only rehab start Capuano is expected to make before he is activated from the disabled list. The left-hander strained his left calf covering first base on April 16.
Zack Greinke threw off flat ground from approximately 90-100 feet Monday as he continued his rehab from a fractured left clavicle. The right-hander said he’s still “just a little bit” sore 16 days after undergoing surgery to have a stabilizing metal plate inserted in the area of the clavicle: “I’m a little achy here and there.”
Greinke hasn’t swung a bat yet, saying “it’s not worth the risk,” and even cracked a joke about his swing. “It was already bad.”
Second baseman Mark Ellis is no closer to playing in a game, or being placed on the disabled list, since straining his right quadriceps on Friday. Ellis jogged a little bit Monday, said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who’s willing to play short-handed for now.
“We’ve played short before,” Mattingly said. “You can do it. Sometimes you may get 10 games. We just need to be creative and be careful with players early in the game. You can’t burn guys.”
Reinstating Hanley Ramirez from the 15-day disabled list Monday gave the Dodgers an extra infielder off the bench for Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
With Ellis, Mattingly said, “it’s more of a medical decision than a baseball decision right now.”
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez might play his first regular-season game of 2013 tonight against the Colorado Rockies. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers placed pitcher Clayton Kershaw
on the bereavement list and reinstated Hanley Ramirez
from the disabled list prior to Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
Ramirez was expected to be activated at some point during the Dodgers’ three-game series against the Rockies when he showed up at Dodger Stadium Monday. He pronounced himself fit to play before heading off to field ground balls and take a round of batting practice, a normal pregame routine.
Kershaw left immediately after Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers and did not take questions from reporters.
On Monday morning, NBA player Jason Collins became the first active professional athlete for a major North American team sport to come out as gay. That prompted a few questions with manager Don Mattingly before the Dodgers’ game against the Colorado Rockies.
“I’ve just seen a tick of it,” Mattingly said. “What I’ve seen, it seems like a Jackie Robinson type thing for one, crossing some barriers. It’ll be interesting to follow.”
Asked about how an openly gay player would be received on his team, Mattingly said, “I don’t know. I think it would be OK. The first time it happens, you’re in uncharted waters. A lot like Jackie, he would be making it easier for anyone else to step forward.”
But might that actually happen in Major League Baseball soon? “I don’t know,” Mattingly said. “I don’t know why not.”
The manager went on to describe how black players during Robinson’s era still had to sleep and eat in segregated facilities from their teammates, among other hardships. If Collins has a hard time gaining acceptance inside and outside the clubhouse, maybe other athletes will be discouraged from coming out.
“It’s not like the floodgates opened” for black players in Robinson’s time, Mattingly said, “but I think (Collins’ coming out) is a step in the right direction that’s going to create change.”