Herrera was hitting .250/.310/.336 for the Isotopes. He had at least one hit in his last seven starts, and is batting .306 (11 for 36) with two home runs in his last eight games. He batted .294/.333/.353 in spring training with the Dodgers with three extra-base hits, all doubles, in 51 at-bats.
First it was the pitchers. Now the Dodger position players’ health is unraveling like a spool of thread with Mark Ellis‘ quadricep, Hanley Ramirez‘s hamstring and Jerry Hairston Jr.’s groin all giving out within a 10-day span.
Hairston could join Ellis and Ramirez on the disabled list soon if he isn’t able to play the outfield. Among the Dodgers’ reserves, only Skip Schumaker is a natural outfielder (infielders Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers have made cameos there during spring training). Manager Don Mattingly had a clear criterion for Hairston to avoid the disabled list.
“Either he can play the outfield or he can’t go at all,” Mattingly said. “Jerry’s going to need to be able to play the outfield for us to not have to make a move.”
The Dodgers placed second baseman Mark Ellis on the 15-day disabled list Monday retroactive to April 27, the day after Ellis strained his right quadriceps muscle running out a ground ball against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Ellis has been on the bench, but hasn’t been active for a game since then. “He got a lot better quick then kind of leveled off,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Chris Capuano was activated from the disabled list so he could start tonight’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The left-hander had been on the DL since April 17 with a left calf strain and made a rehab start on Wednesday for Triple-A Albuquerque against Memphis, allowing two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts in 5 ⅓ innings.
Prior to his injury, Capuano made three appearances (one start), going 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA.
Dodger Stadium has already made way for motocross racing, rock concerts and Papal masses. Why not a little hockey game?
Adding to today’s announcement that the Kings and Ducks will play each other at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25 next year, Dodgers president Stan Kasten added his voice to the chorus of excitement Monday.
“I didn’t know they [the NHL] were going to get off New Year’s,” he said, referring to the traditional date for the annual Winter Classic outdoor game. “Now that they’re doing it, what a great thing to have Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium. Those are the places you want to have games.”
Say hello to the “Stadium Series.”
That’s what the NHL is calling the first outdoor NHL game in Los Angeles, which today was formally announced and scheduled for Jan. 25, 2014 at Dodger Stadium (and reported here last month). What will you call it?
According to the league, it will be the first outdoor regular-season NHL game played in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River, the southern-most outdoor NHL game ever and the first ever in California.
Tickets aren’t available yet but it’s believed that Kings and Ducks season ticket holders will get first dibs, with details to be announced soon.
Onto the bullet points:
Kershaw will attempt to start tomorrow against the San Francisco Giants, five days after leaving the Dodgers to mourn the death of his father. He’s been on the bereavement list in the meantime.
Hanson was activated from the bereavement list Monday, seven days after leaving the team following the death of his stepbrother in Georgia. Similar to Kershaw, Hanson started a road game in the Bay Area against a division rival, the Oakland A’s. He pitched well, too, allowing five hits, two runs, one walk and striking out six batters in six innings.
Although he didn’t factor into the decision, Hanson turned in one of his best starts of the year. It wasn’t easy.
Expect the Dodgers to shed an infielder for this weekend’s series against the San Francisco Giants.
Before we assume that Mark Ellis will be placed on the 15-day disabled list to make room for Clayton Kershaw, who must be activated from the bereavement list before he starts Friday, consider Ellis’ career numbers against the San Francisco Giants’ scheduled starters.
He’s never had much success against Friday’s starter, Barry Zito (.217/.280/.304 in 23 at-bats). Yet Ellis has had no problems with Saturday’s starter, Ryan Vogelsong (.313/.313/.375 in 16 ABs) or Sunday’s starter, Matt Cain (.333/.385/.417 in 24 ABs).
So if Ellis’ right quadriceps is healthy tomorrow — he wasn’t far off Wednesday — it’s entirely possible that the Dodgers would use him Saturday and Sunday and keep him on the bench as a late-innings option Friday.
If that’s the case, look for the Dodgers to option Justin Sellers to Triple-A Albuquerque. Sellers is hitting .200/.278/.262. His slugging percentage is the fifth-lowest in the National League, just ahead of Juan Pierre (.253). The Dodgers don’t need a slugger at every position, but they’ve got an extra infielder if Ellis and Hanley Ramirez are both healthy. Sellers’ numbers could leave him the odd man out.
A less likely move, if the Dodgers are so inclined, would be to designate Luis Cruz for assignment. Cruz hasn’t hit all season (.088/.117/.088), allowing Juan Uribe to surpass him on the depth chart at third base. While Sellers still has an option year to burn, Cruz does not, so this would be the most convenient means for removing Cruz from the active roster.
It’s a rash move, sure. By designating Cruz for assignment, the Dodgers would risk losing him altogether when they could just as easily keep Sellers or Ellis in the organization. But it’s an option, and something to keep an eye on in the next 24 hours.
Some bullet points for a Thursday morning:
You got the sense that Josh Beckett could live with the smaller strike zone imposed by home plate umpire Larry Vanover tonight. Beckett could even live with the three runs he allowed in the first inning, maybe because he didn’t want to throw his shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, under the bus for committing an error that left him pitching out of the stretch one batter into the game.
No, there were other things happened tonight specifically, and this season in general, that Beckett has not made peace with.
Chris Capuano‘s first — and likely last — rehabilitation start is over.
The left-hander allowed two runs in 5 ⅓ innings for the Albuquerque Isotopes on Wednesday, walking one and striking out four. Capuano also grounded out to the shorstop and pitcher and had no apparent issues with his strained left calf.
Capuano hadn’t experienced any pain in his calf recently, though he had to miss three starts after aggravating the injury on April 16.
Capuano is 0-1 with a 9.61 earned-run average (five runs in 4 ⅔ innings) with the Dodgers this season.
It came as little surprise when the Dodgers recalled pitcher Javy Guerra from Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday.
Guerra was sent down late in spring training to pitch as a starter at Albuquerque. By his fourth start, he got stretched out to five innings and 75 pitches. The Dodgers needed a reliever who could pitch more than one inning after seeing Josh Wall — Albuquerque’s closer to begin the season — struggle in the long reliever role Monday.
Wall and Guerra swapped places Tuesday, and Guerra returned to a familiar building.
Well, mostly familiar. Once you walk down the tunnel leading into the home clubhouse area, things look a little different inside Dodger Stadium than they did last year.
“I got lost like three or four times,” Guerra said. “They told me ‘go to the weight room.’ It took me 10 minutes.”