The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes won’t be eating as well tomorrow as they have the past two days. That much is certain.
As for when rehabbing shortstop Hanley Ramirez — who foot the bill on the Quakes’ clubhouse spread this weekend — will return to the Dodgers, that’s less certain. It might come as early as tomorrow, when the Dodgers host the Colorado Rockies.
“I think anything’s possible, the way he looked last night,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly considered it good news that second baseman responded well enough to a strained right quadriceps Friday that the team won’t make a decision about a potential extended absence until Sunday.
“I feel like it’s good news because it’s not like one of those, he walks in and we’ve got to put him on the (disabled) list,” Mattingly said. “It’s one of those things, he was really good today. Let’s see what it looks like tomorrow and we’ll get closer, be able to make a better decision (Sunday). We’re going to bite the bullet for a day or two here, see where we’re at.”
Ellis was batting .458 in his last six games with eight RBIs and seven runs during that stretch. Without Ellis available, the Dodgers played with four position players on the bench Saturday night.
It’s much easier nearly three years later for for Andre Ethier to put a positive spin on the flexible splint he wore on his injured hand, the identical apparatus Hanley Ramirez began using Saturday in his return from thumb surgery.
This much wasn’t positive: Ethier missed 16 games with a broken pinkie finger on his right hand in 2010, returning to hit .248 with one home run in his next 29 games. Ramirez, who had surgery after tearing a tendon in his thumb March 19, is returning three weeks ahead of schedule with the aid of a splint on his right hand.
“It inhibits some of your movement, but sometimes that can be a good thing,” Ethier said. “It makes you shorten up your swing. You become a little bit more selective because you know you can’t reach or have the strength in certain positions to hit a ball.”
Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis left Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a strained right quadriceps.
Ellis sustained the injury running out a routine ground ball in the fifth inning. He slowed up just before reaching first base, clutching the top of his right leg.
Ellis was replaced by Nick Punto and did not return to the game.
Although Ellis’ .991 fielding percentage at second base is fourth in baseball history, the Dodgers have some experienced defensive replacements on the bench. Jerry Hairston Jr. has 3,050 career chances at second base with a .981 fielding percentage. Punto has 1,332 chances at second base with a .983 fielding percentage.
It’s not immediately clear how much time Ellis will need to recuperate. Assuming he’s not available for more than a few games, the greater question facing the Dodgers is: Who will bat second?