Rafael Furcal is expected to be activated from the disabled list today, putting the Dodger lineup back at full strength for the first time since Thursday, April 22. A strained left hamstring put Furcal on the shelf after injuring himself in the first game of the doubleheader in New York on April 27. Before he got hurt, Furcal was hitting .309/.378/.420 with 16 runs scored in 19 games.
The Dodgers have not yet made an official move, but the game notes include profiles for 13 players. Furcal is one of the 13. Nick Green is not.
UPDATE: Furcal is not in tonight's lineup, so it looks like he won't be activated just yet.
Green would have to be designated for assignment to make room on the active roster for Furcal, unless of course Green was placed on the disabled list. Green was hitless in two at-bats, and played a grand total of four innings in the field since having his contract purchased from Triple A on May 4, two innings at shortstop and two at third base. Designating Green for assignment would also clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Jamey Carroll played 131 of 133 defensive innings at shortstop in Furcal's absence, and hit .300/.390/.340 in 15 games. The Dodgers managed to go 9-6 without their leadoff man, but there is no question they are a better team with Furcal in the lineup and, more importantly, in the field. While Carroll has received the generic "catches everything that he gets to" praise, his range leaves a lot to be desired.
With Furcal now back, Russell Martin just might get a day of rest at some point. Martin started seven games batting leadoff while Furcal was out, including the last five after Manny Ramirez came back. Martin has started 14 games in a row, and the last time Martin didn't start on a day the Dodgers had a game was April 23.
Furcal has eight stolen bases in 19 games this season. Last season, battling a nagging back injury all season, Furcal didn't steal his eighth base until September 19, his 139th game.