Daily Distractions: Dodgers face an important roster decision.

Mark Ellis, Juan Uribe, Justin Sellers

One of these men might not be on the active roster by game time tomorrow. (Associated Press photo)

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:

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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.

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Justin Sellers is out, Juan Uribe in for series finale against Giants.

Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe is making his first start for the Dodgers since Aug.14, 2012. (Associated Press)

One day after his two-error performance against the San Francisco Giants, Justin Sellers will sit and Luis Cruz will play shortstop in Wednesday’s series finale against Tim Lincecum.

Juan Uribe will play third base, making his first start since August 14 of last year. Cruz had played third base in the first two games of the season.

Sellers, a last-minute addition to the 25-man roster in spring training, had only made two errors in 29 career games at shortstop before Tuesday. In the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 3-0 loss, he made a pair of throwing miscues that led to two unearned runs. It didn’t technically make the difference in the game — the Giants already led 1-0 — but benching Sellers one day after the blunders could be more than coincidence.

Of course, it could also be in response to the Dodgers’ almost total lack of offensive production in their first two games of the season against the Giants. They’re 9 for 59 (.153) in the two games.

While Uribe hasn’t been an offensive threat since he came to Los Angeles two years ago, he batted .333/.358/.451 in spring training — possibly saving his spot on the 40-man roster.

Today, Uribe gets his first shot to show that his spring was no fluke.

Uribe will bat seventh and Cruz sixth against Lincecum.