Tim Federowicz is the backup catcher again; Justin Sellers optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Tim Federowicz

Tim Federowicz posted a 1.643 OPS after being demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Tim Federowicz returned to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. In his mind, and on the depth chart, it was like he never left.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Federowicz will be the team’s number-two catcher, supplanting veteran Ramon Hernandez, whose 0 for 4 performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday lowered his batting average to .045. Hernandez, who was obtained from Colorado for pitcher Aaron Harang on April 6, is staying on as the Dodgers’ third catcher.
Continue reading

How much will Elian Herrera play for the Dodgers?

Elian HerreraElian Herrera will be available to the Dodgers off the bench today and manager Don Mattingly hinted that Herrera would spell Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford or right fielder Andre Ethier in the starting lineup tomorrow.

Ethier hasn’t been given a day off by the manager (not the schedule) since April 7, Crawford since getting back to back days off on April 30 and May 1. That’s weighed on Mattingly lately, though he acknowledged that the injuries to Jerry Hairston Jr. and Mark Ellis last week left him little choice until both players ultimately went on the 15-day disabled list.

“We’ve had a lot of guys hurt and it’s like we just keep throwing everybody else out there,” Mattingly said. “We want to have that option on the left-hander, to give Carl or Dre a day off.”

The Dodgers will see a left-hander, Wade Miley, tomorrow in the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Continue reading

Dodgers place Jerry Hairston Jr. on the disabled list, recall Elian Herrera from Albuquerque.

Elian HerreraThe Dodgers placed Jerry Hairston Jr. on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin Tuesday as expected and recalled utilityman Elian Herrera from Triple-A Albuquerque.

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.

With the Dodgers down to four healthy outfielders — Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Skip Schumaker — Herrera figures to see more time in the outfield than the infield while he’s here.

Jerry Hairston Jr.’s groin injury could open a spot for an outfielder in Los Angeles, but who?

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.”
Continue reading

Mark Ellis goes on the disabled list, finally.

Mark EllisThe 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

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.

The Dodgers have Justin Sellers, Skip Schumaker, Luis Cruz, Ramon Hernandez and possibly Jerry Hairston Jr. available off the bench tonight, though Hairston is still dealing with a strained groin.

Dodgers’ Mark Ellis leaves game with strained right quadriceps. (Poll)

Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis left Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a strained right quadriceps.

Ellis sustained the injury running out a routine ground ball in the fifth inning. He slowed up just before reaching first base, clutching the top of his right leg.

Ellis was replaced by Nick Punto and did not return to the game.

Although Ellis’ .991 fielding percentage at second base is fourth in baseball history, the Dodgers have some experienced defensive replacements on the bench. Jerry Hairston Jr. has 3,050 career chances at second base with a .981 fielding percentage. Punto has 1,332 chances at second base with a .983 fielding percentage.

It’s not immediately clear how much time Ellis will need to recuperate. Assuming he’s not available for more than a few games, the greater question facing the Dodgers is: Who will bat second?

MLB suspends Padres’ Carlos Quentin eight games, Dodgers’ Jerry Hairston Jr. one; both appeal.

Carlos Quentin has been suspended eight games, and Jerry Hairston Jr. one, for their roles in Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl in San Diego.

Both players have appealed their suspensions and will continue to play until the league issues its decision on the appeal. That means that Hairston and Quentin could be in the lineup Monday, when the Dodgers host the Padres at Dodger Stadium.

Quentin and Hairston were both fined an undisclosed amount.

Matt Kemp and Zack Greinke avoided supplemental discipline for their roles in the melee. Both were ejected, along with Hairston and Quentin, who began the brawl by charging Greinke after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. (Video here).

Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke fractures clavicle in brawl with San Diego Padres.

When the Dodgers retained a surplus of starting pitchers in anticipation that their top five would not make every start this season, they could not have imagined a scenario like the one that unfolded Thursday night.

Zack Greinke left his start against the San Diego Padres after fracturing his left clavicle in the midst of a benches-clearing brawl that started when the Padres’ Carlos Quentin charged the mound after being hit by a Greinke pitch in the sixth inning.

Here’s the video of the brawl from tonight’s broadcast:

Continue reading

A day of firsts for the Dodgers’ starting lineup.

Nick Punto gets his first start, Luis Cruz and Andre Ethier get their first day off, and Tim Federowicz gets his first start behind the plate when the Dodgers host the Pittsburgh Pirates to conclude their first homestand of the season.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had different reasons for each of the changes. Cruz, who is still searching for his first hit of the season after 19 plate appearances, “needs to put those behind him because he can’t change anything that happened in the first five games of the season,” Mattingly said.

“Hopefully he can see the forest because he was getting a little close to the trees, can’t see his way out.”

Juan Uribe will start at third base and bat sixth.

Continue reading

Dodgers 10, Angels 8: Postgame thoughts.

Don Mattingly dropped a revealing opinion, perhaps unexpectedly, in his postgame chat today.

It appeared that, an hour earlier, Ted Lilly had done an OK job in two innings out of the bullpen in his first appearance of spring training. Keep in mind that Lilly hadn’t pitched in a competitive game since Aug. 16 of last year. The veteran lefty got Erick Aybar to fly out, got rocked by Howie Kendrick (who finished 3-for-3 with a single, double and home run) for a longball, then retired the next four Angel batters he faced. Day over.

“Teddy, he seems a lot more like Aaron (Harang) to me, from my point of view,” Mattingly said. “Taking longer to get loose, taking longer to warm up, all that kind of stuff.”

In other words, not a good bullpen candidate.

That would seem to make Chris Capuano, by default, the Dodgers’ preferred choice to move from the rotation to the bullpen at this point in time. This is a point in time when eight starters are healthy, so take that with a grain of salt. Things can change in the next four weeks.

At the very least Mattingly’s opinion offers a framework for what the Dodgers might be thinking — stash Capuano in the bullpen as a sixth starter, and if Billingsley ends up needing Tommy John surgery (or another starter goes down in spring), insert either Lilly or Harang into the fifth starter’s slot. Otherwise, try to move one or both pitchers. That would agree with what I’ve heard from knowledgeable people outside the organization; people inside the organization have no reason to tip their hand pre-flop.

Lilly had to feel good about his performance regardless of how the manager reacted to it. It’s been a long time coming.
Some more notes:

Continue reading