Even though Wilson is with the Dodgers in Philadelphia, outfielder Scott Van Slyke was recalled from Albuquerque and is taking Gordon’s spot on the active roster, the team announced Friday.
Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon went 2 for 4 Sunday. In the field, he ranged to his right to retire Evan Longoria on a tough play in the first inning and also started a double play.
If that was the end of his contribution to an 8-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, Gordon’s day would barely qualify as news. It’s not newsworthy when a one-time top prospect performs well in a substitute role. It’s also easy to overlook one standout performance in a game where Mark Ellis goes 3 for 5 with three RBIs, Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis get two hits, and Clayton Kershaw is his usual brilliant self.
But because Gordon also committed three errors Sunday, there was a sense of urgency — for Hanley Ramirez to return to the lineup and for the 25-year-old to stop making the inexplicable miscues that have kept him buried at Triple-A for much of the past three seasons. (Gordon has played 158 games for the Albuquerque Isotopes since 2011 and 166 for the Dodgers).
Hanley Ramirez took ground balls, threw from the deep shortstop hole to first base, and also took an encouraging round of batting practice before Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was Ramirez’s most visible sign of progress since he jammed his right shoulder last Sunday in Chicago.
After batting practice, Ramirez told reporters that he is still experiencing some discomfort in the shoulder. Today marks seven days since Ramirez suffered the injury. During that time he’s been limited to a single pinch-hitting appearance Friday, in which he struck out against Rays left-hander David Price.
Judging by the way the ball jumped off his bat and into the left and right-field bleacher seats in batting practice, Ramirez’s hitting stroke is game-ready. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said it would be “a couple days at least” until Ramirez starts a game at shortstop.
The Dodgers had been hoping he would be able to throw by Friday, but that was put off until today. Dee Gordon is starting at shortstop and hitting eighth.
“We’ve missed him six days and we’re 5-1,” Mattingly said. “We’ve been able to survive it so far. If it ends up being 10 (days) it still saves us five” days if Ramirez was on the disabled list.
Hanley Ramirez ran the bases at Dodger Stadium for the first time since straining his left hamstring on May 3 and is close to going out on a rehabilitation assignment.
“As we get through Anaheim, we’re talking about him playing some games the next few days,” Mattingly said.
Ramirez wrote on his Instagram account last week that he would be “coming soon” to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
The rehab process has been a frustrating one for Ramirez, who was only able to play four games after recovering enough from a torn ligament in his right thumb before suffering the hamstring injury.
Ramirez said last week that he will announce his assignment in some capacity on Twitter. Assuming he plays Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it’s conceivable that Ramirez could be in a Dodger uniform next week when the team play a 10-game home stand against San Diego, Atlanta and Arizona.
Nick Punto is starting at shortstop Monday against the Angels following the demotion of Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque. Punto and Luis Cruz figure to get the lion’s share of the innings at shortstop until Ramirez returns.
The Dodgers activated utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. from the disabled list Monday afternoon as expected. He’ll be in the starting lineup against the Angels, batting seventh and playing left field.
To make room for Hairston on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned shortstop Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque.
The Dodgers will have to make room for Jerry Hairston Jr. on the active roster tomorrow somehow.
Hairston played back to back games for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday and Saturday, and Don Mattingly wanted to give Hairston the day off Sunday, but he’s expected to come off the disabled list in time for Monday’s game against the Angels. Hairston was placed on the DL on May 6 with a strained left groin.
Mark Ellis and Jerry Hairston Jr., currently on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps and left groin, respectively, are expected to join the team at some point during this weekend’s road trip to Atlanta. Both are rehabbing tonight with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts.
But to take each off the disabled list means that another player must come off the active roster, and the choices are not obvious. After all, who expected Elian Herrera to get the first call-up when Hairston went on the disabled list two weeks ago?
That said, barring any (more) injuries, these are the four players whose time with the Dodgers may be at least temporarily up:
– Luis Cruz. A gifted third baseman/shortstop, Cruz hasn’t hit enough this year to justify being on a major-league roster. In 69 at-bats, he has six singles for a .087 batting average and slugging percentage. Cruz is out of options, so the Dodgers would probably have to designate him for assignment. The prospect of closing the book on last year’s feel good story (and a player whose jerseys are still displayed prominently in the window of the Dodgers’ team store) has become a story in and of itself.
– Ramon Hernandez. At 38, Hernandez’s bat speed isn’t what it used to be. He’s batting even below the Cruz Line, at .045, and the Dodgers have two catchers ahead of him on the depth chart. The Dodgers have two first basemen ahead of him on the depth chart, too, in Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke. Like Cruz, Hernandez would probably be designated for assignment since he’s been out of options since 2002.
– Van Slyke. Sending Van Slyke out doesn’t make as much sense, given the Dodgers’ need for power and a backup first baseman/corner outfielder, but they’ve cut him loose before. In nine plate appearances, SVS has a single, a home run, two strikeouts and a walk.
– Dee Gordon. Like Van Slyke, there are reasons to keep Gordon but history isn’t on his side. The Dodgers never wanted Gordon playing an everyday shortstop role in the majors until he was ready, and Gordon’s .220 batting average and negative UZR (which is actually up from last season) aren’t strong signs of readiness. The Dodgers could easily platoon Cruz, Nick Punto, Juan Uribe and Hairston on the left side of the infield until Hanley Ramirez returns from the disabled list.
Some bullet points to tide you through the weekend:
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:
There have only been two games, so we feel pretty confident calling this diving, over-the-shoulder catch by Dee Gordon the best catch of the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes’ season. Tack on the one-hop throw to first base from center field to complete the double play, and Gordon made a pretty special play tonight in the ‘Topes 10-6 win. Watch for yourself:
The spring training leader in batting average won’t begin the season in the majors. Or in Triple-A for that matter.
The Dodgers optioned Yasiel Puig, their most productive hitter since Cactus League play began, to Double-A Chattanooga, ending weeks of speculation about where the organization’s most intriguing prospect will begin his first full season outside Cuba.