In the clubhouse before the Dodgers’ game against the Padres, he politely informed reporters that he isn’t doing interviews. Less than an hour later he was in a dark corner of left field, the only portion of Petco Park not bathed in sunshine, where the Western Metal Supply Co. building casts its shade. It’s the same building into which Ramirez hit a 390-foot home run last night.
“Putting a time on him would be tough for me. I don’t think medical has a timetable on him.
He’s still having some ill effects the day after.
“He threw a ‘pen the other day in Arizona. So he’s moving forward, it’s just a matter of when is he going to be able to face a hitter, turn it loose, without having to worry about it.
The next day, he feels something, it loosens up, then he’s back to normal. I think it was the same with Kersh too.”
Clayton Kershaw went six weeks between major-league appearances after straining his left teres major muscle in March.
A six-week timetable for Rodriguez puts him on track to return in mid-September. The minor-league seasons would likely be over by then, so Rodriguez wouldn’t be able to go out on a rehab assignment before he returns.
I’ve never had an 18-year-old that I’ve played with or managed with that kind of polish with four pitches. You watch him throw a bullpen [session], it’s special. You watch him attack hitters during a game, it’s special. There’s really not enough adjectives to explain or talk about his development this year because it just seems to continue to grow.
From where he started in April, with his struggles through May, as he continued to get better until now, like tonight, he just made it look really, really easy.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was a bit less verbose when asked if Urias had been discussed as a candidate for a September call-up.
“I haven’t heard his name,” Mattingly said.
Andre Ethier is starting in center field for the first time in six days.
Puig is hitless in his last 18 plate appearances. He’s also 1 for 11 against the Padres’ starting pitcher, right-hander Andrew Cashner. His .091 batting average against Cashner is the lowest against any opponent he’s seen at least 10 times.
“He seems frustrated to us,” Mattingly said. “Just felt the extra day, with the matchups, it seems like it was the right thing to do today.”