Dodgers’ Mark Ellis is ‘optimistic’ but the disabled list is still a possibility.

Mark EllisMark Ellis was in good spirits after throwing and taking batting practice Sunday morning, two days after the Dodgers second baseman strained his right quadriceps running out a ground ball.

“So far I can swing the bat,” Ellis said. “I can throw fine. I’m still kind of day to day but I’m optimistic.”

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said it’s “still kind of up in the air” whether or not Ellis will go on the disabled list. To avoid the DL, Ellis needs to begin running soon.

The Dodgers have plenty of second basemen at their disposal, but fewer choices for a number-two hitter. Nick Punto‘s there today. A.J. Ellis, who caught last night’s game and batted second, gets the day off in favor of Ramon Hernandez, who is batting sixth.

None have matched the consistent production of Mark Ellis, who was hitting .342/.363/.452 at the time of the injury.

The 35-year-old, who has missed at least 30 games each of the last five seasons, is hoping to avoid the disabled list but acknowledged that “you never want to handcuff a manager or handcuff a team.”

Expect a decision in the next day or two.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.