The Dodgers got some reasonably good news on Juan Rivera today, as his strained left hamstring will keep him off the disabled list...for now. Rivera was able to do light drills with trainer Sue Falsone today which included stretching and running in place.
"Sue felt he was better, and was able to do more than she thought he would be able to do," manager Don Mattingly said before the game.
Rivera said he felt something in his left hamstring while running to first in the sixth inning Tuesday night, and that today he was still sore but "felt a little better than yesterday."
Rivera is out of the lineup tonight against the Braves, which Mattingly said was planned as Rivera had started six consecutive games. The Dodgers are off Thursday, and will wait to see how Rivera responds to rest and treatment this weekend before deciding whether or not to place him on the disabled list.
"If we get to the point where he's able to pinch hit and run for himself, then I can use him like a guy off the bench, and it gives me the guys I need," Mattingly said. "It's when you start getting really short, if we can't use him at all, then we're in trouble."
Tony Gwynn Jr. starts in left field tonight for the Dodgers.
Dodgers Address Baserunning Woes
Monday night's game with the Braves featured a pair of ill-advised baserunning plays by the Dodgers. Matt Kemp tried to score from first base with nobody out on a single, and was easily thrown at home, and Dee Gordon was thrown out trying to steal second base with a runner on third base, one out, and Kemp on deck.
Mattingly called a team meeting before today's game to address the baserunning woes, which have occurred more often than Monday night. "There have been times we're happy with things and times we're not happy. It's been a sense of concern," Mattingly said.
The Dodgers stole successfully 76% of the time last season, fifth in the National League, but this season have been caught 11 of 23 times. But it's not just base stealng, as the Dodgers have also made 11 outs on the bases, tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for most in the league.
"Last year we really ran the bases well," Mattingly said. "This year we've made some mistakes. We've gotten away with it. But we don't feel like we can continue to get away with it. It's an area we need to improve.
Mattingly said the meeting addressed all types of baserunning mistakes, which have been occurring since the start of the season.
"It's been brewing. We've made too many mistakes," Mattingly said. I don't feel like we're good enough to make mistakes and give runs away and give outs away."
- Nathan Eovaldi was pulled, for the second straight start, after just one inning tonight in Double A Chattanooga. There appears to be more fire than smoke in this case, as Tony Jackson of ESPN LA reported that there are "strong indications" Eovaldi is headed for Los Angeles, and that he would be replacing a reliever, not a starter.
- Mattingly said he wasn't concerned with Ted Lilly's six walks in his last start.
"I thought he was sharp last game. He didn't feel that way. But when I watch A.J. back there, it seemed like he was barely moving his glove," Mattingly said. "To me he wasn't missing across the plate or high when he was trying to go down and in. His misses weren't way off, he just wasn't hitting that corner he wanted to hit."
- One day after Chipper Jones hit a home run on his 40th birthday, Mattingly was asked would have liked to hit a home run on his 40th birthday. Mattingly, who retired at age 34, quipped, "I guess it would have been good, because I would have played for another seven years."
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.