As the Dodgers open their series with the Washington Nationals, the talk of Dodger Stadium - well, aside from Bryce Harper being on his way - was injuries. Javy Guerra no longer has a swollen jaw, and outside of a slight headache on Thursday he has passed every test with flying colors, including a CAT scan.
But Guerra does have a sore foot, which happened as Guerra twisted to try to get out of the way of the line drive hit back at him by Brian McCann on Wednesday night. "Sue [Falsone, team trainer] feels like it's short term and there's really nothing structurally wrong there," manager Don Mattingly said.
Guerra was reevaluated after throwing before Friday's game, and cleared to throw per J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News.
Mattingly said that when he went to the mound Wednesday night, he thought the ball deflected off Guerra's glove, though replays showed it hit him flush in the face. Though Mattingly said he would defer to assistant trainer Greg Harrel, who went to the mound with him to check on Guerra, there were some regrets in leaving him in the game after seeing the replay.
"If I would have known it would have got him straight on, I probably would have pulled him right away," Mattingly said.
Mattingly said he watched the tape three or four times and was amazed that Guerra didn't go down and that Guerra wasn't hurt as badly as he could have been.
"Javy came out of it pretty good, especially from the neck up. There is nothing structurally wrong with the jaw, there were no concussion symptoms," Mattingly said.
"My dad always said don't go down, and if you do get right back up," said Guerra, who also appreciated that Mattingly told him that he still has confidence in him as the closer.
Juan Rivera is out of the lineup again tonight, still nursing a strained left hamstring. Rivera took ground balls and hit in the cage before the game and may or may not be available to pinch hit tonight, depending on how Rivera feels and the evaluation from the training staff.
"We're still hopeful that this thing's not going to linger. He feels better today than he did yesterday," Mattingly said of Rivera. "We're still hopeful that he doesn't have to go on the DL, and that maybe it's just a couple of days."
The injury bug wasn't limited to Los Angeles. The Nationals will place Ryan Zimmerman on the DL on Saturday to make room for Harper, but before tonight's game placed Brad Lidge on the disabled list and recalled right-handed reliever Ryan Perry.
As Mattingly noted, "Everybody's got something going on at all times, so we'll see."
Eovaldi Back For Second Stint
Nathan Eovaldi got the official word Thursday morning that he would be on his way to Los Angeles for a second big league stint, but the writing was on the wall Wednesday night, when Eovaldi was pulled after just one inning for his second straight start.
The first time it happened, on April 19 when Chad Billingsley was dealing with a groin problem in between starts, came as a surprise to Eovaldi, but before Wednesday's start he was told his start might be just one inning.
Though it wasn't his first time getting called to the big leagues, Eovaldi still appreciates the opportunity. "It's still a great call to get. I was still pretty excited about it," said Eovaldi, who called his parents and grandparents upon hearing the news.
"It was planned from the beginning when we brought Michael Antonini," Mattingly said. "With Atlanta being lefty heavy, we really wanted to have another lefty out there. We thought about bringing Eo because it would be short term."
Todd Coffey is due off the disabled list on Sunday.
Eovaldi has only pitched two innings since his start on April 9, but he said he has still done all his normal sidework and bullpen sessions under a starter's workload, which is still the Dodgers' plan for the 22-year old right-hander.
"We don't want to get into him being in the bullpen. We want him preparing as a starter," Mattingly said.
Whether starting or relieving, Eovaldi is just happy to be wearing a big league uniform. "As long as I'm here, it's all good," he said.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket