The first day Casey Blake is eligible to be activated off the disabled list is Wednesday, April 6, and if it was up to Blake, he would like to play on that day. Blake arrived in Los Angeles last night after spring training minor league games ended, and is back with the team today at Dodger Stadium today. Blake will travel with the team on the upcoming road trip, which starts in Colorado on Tuesday. "If I'm with the team, I'd like to play [on Wednesday]," Blake said.
Manager Don Mattingly had previously said the team was leaning toward activating Blake on Friday, when the team is in San Diego, but has softened his stance on that now. Having Aaron Miles start twice tends to do that to managers. "[Blake] sounds like he's ready. He's gotten a lot of at-bats, feels good, and doesn't think there's anything more for him to do," Mattingly said. "We're thinking about it."
The Rockies were snowed out today in Denver, and will start Jhoulys Chacin Tuesday and Jason Hammel Wednesday in the two-game series against the Dodgers. In his career, Blake has five hits in 18 at-bats off Hammel, including a double and a home run, and is hitting .278/.300/.500 against him.
Who Will Hit The First Home Run?
The Dodgers have yet to hit a home run this season, and in fact have only hit three doubles in the first three games (one in each contest). They haven't gone this long into the season without a home run since 2002, when they hit a home run in their fourth game.
|Dodgers First Home Run Of The Season|
The Dodgers are currently at 105 plate appearances without a home run this season, their longest stretch of PA without a home run to start a season since Billy Ashley hit a home run in the Dodgers' 109th PA of the season (in their third game) in 1996, 15 years ago tonight.
- Mattingly said he put Rod Barajas seventh in tonight's batting order, ahead of Marcus Thames, who is batting eighth, because Barajas has good numbers and more looks than Thames against Zito. Barajas is hitting .314/.368/.686 with three home runs in 38 plate appearances against Zito, though only six of those PA came after 2007 (Barajas was 1-for-6 with a homer off Zito in 2010). Thames is 0-for-6 with a walk off Zito, but hasn't faced him since 2008.
- Vicente Padilla threw 60 pitches over four innings in a simulated game today, and is progressing nicely, per Mattingly
- Also progressing well from injury is Jon Garland, who has been throwing on a schedule that would allow him to start on April 10, when the Dodgers need a fifth starter, if Garland is ready. Mattingly said Garland has been trying to convince him that he will be ready to make that April 10 start, but if Garland isn't ready, both Tim Redding and John Ely will throw simulated games on April 5 in preparation for a possible promotion five days later.
Jay Gibbons, who battled contact and contact problems in the spring, will begin playing rehabilitation games with Triple A Albuquerque when they open their Pacific Coast League schedule on Thursday against Omaha.
Game Time: 5 p.m.