Daily Distractions: Back injury puts Jerry Hairston Jr.’s playoff availability in jeopardy.

Jerry Hairston Jr.

Dodgers veteran Jerry Hairston Jr. is batting .211 this season in a reserve role. (Associated Press photo)

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti told the “Petros and Money Show” on 570-AM (KCAL) yesterday that Jerry Hairston Jr. is fighting a back issue that might keep him off the Dodgers’ playoff roster.

“It’s something we’re debating,” Colletti said.

Hairston, one of seven Dodgers with World Series experience, is batting just .143 in the second half of the season in a reserve role.

Colletti responded to a question specifically about whether he would choose the experienced Hairston over younger shortstop Dee Gordon.

“We’re also debating Dee,” Colletti continued. “He brings speed to the game. If you watched our games against Cincinnati a couple weeks ago, you saw the effect of a Billy Hamilton. If you paid attention when we weren’t playing him you saw the game-changing aspect of it. He’s somebody we’re thinking about.”

Colletti added that he’s hopeful that Andre Ethier will be healthy enough that “we’ll be able to use him to some extent starting Thursday.” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Ethier is likely to be used in a pinch-hitting role at the outset.

Some bullet points for a World Vegetarian Day:

Colleague Vincent Bonsignore explores how Don Mattingly plans to manage the Dodgers in the playoffs.

• Former Dodgers first baseman James Loney took part in an interesting, important play last night in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 5-2 elimination-game win over the Texas Rangers. Loney helped pitcher David Price pick Elvis Andrus off first base early in the game through a bit of crafty defense — or was it obstruction? Peter Gammons breaks down both arguments on his blog. Count me in the camp who believes that Andrus still had a path back to first base — a longer path, which makes it good defense on Loney’s part.

• Loney is in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Former Dodgers pitcher Jamey Wright, also a Ray, is in the playoffs for the first time ever in his 18-year pro career.

• If Andre Ethier hits an important pinch hit home run in the playoffs and people start comparing it to Kirk Gibson, just remember: This guy called it first.

• Fans of non-playoff teams have turned to a flow chart to determine their rooting interest in the playoffs. Fans of the bunt apparently should root for the Cincinnati Reds.

• Those who aren’t fans of flow charts are probably reading this and rooting for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

• Football link. Colleague Scott Wolf has been crushing the Lane Kiffin/next USC coach saga.

• For no good reason, other than that drama is what the playoffs are all about, “Drama” by Stack Bundles:

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