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.

Is Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez coming to Los Angeles or Albuquerque?

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes won’t be eating as well tomorrow as they have the past two days. That much is certain.

Hanley RamirezAs 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.

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