Chone Figgins will begin rehabilitation stint Thursday with Triple-A Albuquerque.

Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins will miss his 28th consecutive game today. (Associated Press photo)

Chone Figgins, on the disabled list since June 14 with a left hip flexor strain, said he will begin a minor-league rehabilitation stint Thursday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He’s not sure how long he’ll need after missing 28 games leading into the all-star break.

“It’ll be the same as when I went down and played there the first time,” Figgins said, referring to when he was optioned to Triple-A in late April. “They’ll move me around (the field). Hopefully I can get a lot of work in.”

Friday, Figgins reported a grabbing sensation in the area of his left hip when he attempted to steal a base in drills, but he said that was the only lingering symptom of the original injury. (The team originally called Figgins’ injury a left quad strain, but Figgins said it was a hip flexor.) Now he believes the sensation was a byproduct of a lack of physical activity.

“I think it’s going to continue to get stronger,” he said.

Figgins said he will work out at Dodger Stadium Tuesday and Wednesday under the guidance of team trainers.

The Triple-A All-Star Game, between the Pacific Coast League and the International League, is Wednesday. The Isotopes begin an eight-game homestand the following day.

The Dodgers hit the road after the all-star break, visiting St. Louis, Pittsburgh and San Francisco before returning home July 29. It’s probable that Figgins will rejoin the team by the end of the month.

Figgins has a .217 batting average and a .373 on-base percentage in 38 games this season.

With Miguel Rojas starting at shortstop again, taking stock of the Dodgers’ backup infielders.

Miguel Rojas

Miguel Rojas is hitting .232 in his first 30 major-league games. (Associated Press photo)

It’s reached the juncture, again, where Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is being propped up by shoulder injections. The Dodgers seem to think that last night’s injection hit the correct spot. Time will tell.

On Friday, for the fourth time in the last five games, Ramirez wasn’t in the Dodgers’ lineup. Miguel Rojas was. Ramirez’s health seems to be stuck on day-to-day, so it’s worth examining where his backups stand in what’s become a competition for fairly regular playing time.
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Dodgers’ Chone Figgins frustrated by latest injury.

Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained left quadriceps muscle. (Associated Press)


The Dodgers will soon learn more about the extent of Chone Figgins‘ strained left quad. Team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache is expected to meet today with Figgins and pitcher Chad Billingsley, who was diagnosed with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that an MRI on Figgins’ left quad revealed “a significant strain.” Figgins, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, has noticed improvement since he first suffered the injury Friday.

“When I woke up yesterday, it was hard to pick it up,” he said. “It’s already started to loosen up.”
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Justin Turner scratched with tightness in calf.

Dodgers infielder Justin Turner isn’t starting today because he has tightness in one of his calves, manager Don Mattingly said. The injury is not considered serious. Chone Figgins is starting at third base in Turner’s place.

Turner took ground balls at third base prior to the game, moving laterally at less than full intensity.

Since taking over for the injured Juan Uribe as the Dodgers’ everyday third baseman, Turner has a .349/.406/.540 slash line.

Carl Crawford leaves Dodgers’ game against Cincinnati with a sprained left ankle. Update.

Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford limps off the field after suffering a sprained left ankle in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Carl Crawford sprained his left ankle in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. The 32-year-old rolled the ankle on the turf while fielding Chris Heisey‘s double into the left-field corner. He had to be helped off the field by head athletic trainer Stan Conte and was replaced by Scott Van Slyke.

A picture of Crawford’s ankle as the injury occurred can be found here.

Update (11:15 p.m.): Crawford said he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.

“I think it’s going to take a while,” he said.

The injury is severe enough that Crawford entered the Dodgers’ clubhouse after the game in a wheelchair. He then limped into the showers and came back to his locker wearing a protective boot.
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Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe held out of lineup, could be headed for disabled list.

Juan Uribe has a mild right hamstring and will not play Friday night against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers’ third baseman suffered the injury running out a double-play ball in the seventh inning Thursday night.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn’t rule out the possibility that Uribe could wind up on the disabled list.

“Hamstrings are tricky,” Mattingly said. “If you can’t run, you can’t play. We’ll give him a day. We’ll probably find out tomorrow.”

At least in Uribe’s case, the hamstring hasn’t been a nagging issue in recent years. He injured the same hamstring in 2008 as a member of the Chicago White Sox, but that was the last time the injury sent him to the disabled list.

Still, the Dodgers are being cautious with the 35-year-old, who’s played 318 ⅓ of a possible 335 ⅓ possible defensive innings this season.

“He’s walking around, he looks fine like anyone else,” Mattingly said. “Missing a week or two weeks is one thing, but if you’re missing months that’s when your season gets all out of sorts, when you go out on rehabs and you’re trying to get back in the groove, all that kind of stuff. It seems to be mild. We’ll try to keep it at that and not let it turn in to something better and not get too far down the road, as far as letting it screw up his year.”

The manager added that Uribe’s innings are likely to be filled from within the Dodgers’ 25-man roster for now. The right-handed hitting Justin Turner is starting at third base tonight against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner. Switch-hitter Chone Figgins has appeared in 632 major-league games at third base — more even than Uribe.

Hanley Ramirez was the Miami Marlins’ third baseman when the Dodgers acquired him in July 2012. However, Ramirez told the team immediately after the trade that he would prefer not to move back and forth between positions during the same season, making him an unlikely fill-in for Uribe.

Here are the lineups for both teams:
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Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder inflammation) hits disabled list; Stephen Fife likely to start Sunday.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu is 3-2 with a 3.00 earned-run average in seven starts this season for the Dodgers. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)

The Dodgers are without a starting pitcher Sunday after placing left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

Manager Don Mattingly told reporters in Miami that the injury isn’t considered serious and no MRI has been scheduled for Ryu. The DL stint is retroactive to April 28 and Ryu so if Ryu misses only the minimum 15 days, he’ll be eligible to return May 13.

The Dodgers’ schedule offers no favors: The team has no off-days between now and May 13. Who will start Sunday?
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Dodgers recall Jose Dominguez, option Chone Figgins to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Jose Dominguez

Jose Dominguez made just three appearances for Triple-A Albuquerque since his last appearance with the Dodgers on April 5. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers bolstered their depleted bullpen Monday by recalling right-hander Jose Dominguez from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioning utility player Chone Figgins to Albuquerque.

Coming into Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Dodger relievers ranked second in MLB in innings pitched. Dominguez is healthy and well-rested. He’s made just five appearances in the last 17 days — three since his last game in a Dodgers uniform April 5. Four days later, the Dodgers optioned Dominguez to Albuquerque when Josh Beckett was activated from the disabled list.

Dominguez has allowed four earned runs in three appearances for the Dodgers this season.
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Daily Distractions: Philadelphia Phillies offer a visit from the Dodgers’ past and hypothetical present.

Tony Gwynn Jr.

Tony Gwynn Jr. batted .245 in 239 games with the Dodgers from 2011-12. (Getty Images)

When the Dodgers host the Philadelphia Phillies in a four-game series this week, the past and the hypothetical present converge.

Tony Gwynn Jr. played 239 games for the Dodgers from 2011-12. By one metric, he was the team’s best defensive outfielder during that time. Gwynn was a serviceable hitter until somewhere around June 2012; he batted .180 after June 1 of that year. Gwynn gave way to Shane Victorino, then Carl Crawford, and wound up spending all of 2013 in Triple-A.

Gwynn signed with Philadelphia last November (for a modest $900,000) and made the Phillies’ Opening Day roster. Gwynn doesn’t start against left-handed pitchers, so we might not see him in the series until Zack Greinke starts Wednesday. The platoon seems to be working; Gwynn is batting .292 this season.
The success might also stem from his jersey number. After going his own way since he broke into the majors in 2006, Gwynn is wearing his father’s number 19 for the first time in his career.

So about that “hypothetical present.”

The Dodgers were rumored to be interested in their opponent today, Cliff Lee, at the 2012 trade deadline. They traded for Joe Blanton instead and missed the playoffs. Last year Lee went 14-8 with a 2.87 ERA and made the National League All-Star team. Sounds like a missed opportunity.

Then again, given the Phillies’ reluctance to trade any of their high-priced, high-risk veterans (Lee, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley), it’s no surprise that Lee is still in Philadelphia. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has shown no intention of rebuilding his aging roster. Lee might be no less untouchable today than he was in the summer of 2012. His team, meanwhile, is 8-10 in the young season.

Lee, 35, is owed a total of $50 million between this year and next. The Dodgers opted to put that money toward signing Greinke instead and dealt their expendable prospects to Boston for Adrian Gonzalez, Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto.

To think: Maybe if Lee became a Dodger, the Punto Era might never have existed.

Hypotheticals are fun.

Some bullet points for a Grounation Day:
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Dodgers designate Javy Guerra for assignment, add Chone Figgins, release Sydney travel roster.

Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins went 6 for 36 in Cactus League play for the Dodgers. He was added to the team’s 40-man roster on Sunday. (Associated Press photo)


GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Dodgers had to be a bit creative in compiling the list of 30 players who will travel to Sydney, Australia for the first two games of the season.

As with many Dodger problems, this was a good problem to have. Too many options are always better than too few in the eyes of a team that carried eight starting pitchers on guaranteed contracts into camp a year ago, seven this year, and have a four-outfielder “dilemma” that makes for good sports-talk radio fodder.

First, the big move: Javy Guerra was designated for assignment and Chone Figgins was added to the major-league roster. The team’s closer coming out of spring training as recently as 2012, Guerra made seven Cactus League appearances, most recently Saturday against the San Diego Padres, and went 1-0 with a 2.25 earned-run average. He allowed nine hits and walked four batters in eight innings. Combined with the fact that he was out of options, that wasn’t a strong enough camp to move Guerra up the depth chart.

Guerra made just nine major-league appearances last year and allowed nine runs. The 28-year-old right-hander made more appearances for Triple-A Albuquerque after ceding the closer’s job to Kenley Jansen midway through the 2012 season.

“It just kind of came down to numbers really in spots,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s kind of been back and forth the last couple years. Obviously Javy’s a guy that I like. His stuff always plays. I feel like he’s a big league pitcher. Javy getting designated (for assignment) speaks to our depth — Chris Withrow and (Jose) Dominguez and some guys that you end up keeping.”

The Dodgers have 10 days to decide whether to place Guerra on waivers, trade him, release him or outright him to the minor leagues.

Figgins hasn’t played in a regular-season game in the majors since 2012, when he hit .181/.262/.271 in 194 plate appearances with the Seattle Mariners. His bat in camp wasn’t much sharper; he’s hitting .167 (6 for 36) with five singles and a double. Figgins hasn’t lost his eye at age 36. He’s drawn nine walks and carries a .326 on-base percentage, and that in turn drew praise from Mattingly earlier in the day.

Here’s the complete list of 30 players who will be making the trip:

Pitchers (14):
Jose Dominguez
J.P. Howell (L)
Kenley Jansen
Clayton Kershaw (L)
Zach Lee
Paul Maholm (L)
Red Patterson
Chris Perez
Seth Rosin
Paco Rodriguez (L)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (L)
Brian Wilson
Chris Withrow
Jamey Wright

Catchers (3):
Drew Butera
A.J. Ellis
Tim Federowicz

Infielders (8):
Chone Figgins (S)
Adrian Gonzalez (L)
Dee Gordon (L)
Alex Guerrero
Hanley Ramirez
Miguel Rojas
Justin Turner
Juan Uribe

Outfielders (5):
Mike Baxter (L)
Andre Ethier (L)
Joc Pederson (L)
Yasiel Puig
Scott Van Slyke

Note that Figgins, who’s listed as an infielder, can play all three outfield positions. Baxter and Van Slyke, both listed as outfielders, have seen time at first base in camp.

I’ll take an in-depth look at the travel roster, what it means, and what it means for the players who were left off, in my next blog post.