The Dodgers received another blow today, as second baseman Mark Ellis was placed on the disabled list with a yet undisclosed left leg injury. Losing Ellis was just part of a middle infield shakeup by the Dodgers, as slumping shortstop Dee Gordon has been moved to the bench "for a few days," per manager Don Mattingly.
Ellis hurt his left leg in the top of the seventh inning Friday night, when Tyler Greene of the St. Louis Cardinals upended Ellis with a hard slide (a slide that both Mattingly and Ellis agreed was just good, hard-nosed baseball). Ellis had x-rays after the game that showed nothing broken, but he was very sore.
Ellis had an MRI on Saturday and we are still awaiting full results, but just by the nature of it this sounds like an injury that could cause him to miss much more than two weeks. Mattingly said the team was still getting information back about the MRI, but there was swelling in different areas of Ellis's left leg.
"We're still getting information back, but we have enough to know we're going to DL him," Mattingly said.
Ellis was hitting .273/.373/.364 with 27 runs scored in 37 games batting second for the Dodgers, and he is the fourth starter currently on the disabled list.
"I think he's a great player. The more you see him play, the better he is. He's a tough guy to replace," Mattingly said.
Mattingly said for now he will use a combination of Elian Herrera, Adam Kennedy, Justin Sellers, and Ivan DeJesus Jr. at second base, as DeJesus was recalled from Triple A Albuquerque on Saturday. DeJesus will wear number 13 with the Dodgers, and he should be at Dodger Stadium close to game time.
Hairston Close To Returning
Jerry Hairston Jr. is also in the mix at second base, as well as third base, and possibly shortstop, but that is after he returns from his stint on the disabled list. Hairston is eligible to return as early as Tuesday, but Mattingly said Hairston will likely play in rehab games, either in the minors or at extended spring training at Camelback Ranch while the Dodgers are in Arizona, on Monday and Tuesday, and will likely be activated on Wednesday.
"At this point we've gotten this far. I'd rather go a day late than a day early," Mattingly said. "Wherever he goes it's not a matter of timing, it's just him being healthy."
"When I get activated I want to be full steam ahead. I know we have a lot of guys hurt, and I don't want to have a setback," Hairston said. "I definitely want to hit the ground running, literally."
Shortstop Dee Gordon, currently in a 2-for-31 slump, will be used off the bench for the next few days. Mattingly didn't give an exact timetable, but it means Gordon won't start tonight or Sunday, nor will he start against left-handers Patrick Corbin and Joe Saunders on Monday and Wednesday in Arizona.
"Just thinking properly is what Dee needs to do right now. He's not going through anything that there haven't been a ton of guys go through," Mattingly said. "Nothing has really changed in my thinking about Dee about what he's going to become or where he will end up."
Mattingly said he spoke with Gordon last night after Gordon went 0-for-5, to drop his average to .200/.239/.255.
"The things that Dee talked to me last night were the same things Kenley Jansen talked to me about last year. He goes home and sits there and thinks about it and thinks about it, and that's not how you play your best baseball."
House Call On Sunday?
To round out the Dodgers infield infirmary news, Juan Uribe was scheduled to meet with a hand specialist regarding his left wrist injury on Saturday, but that meeting has been changed to Sunday. Uribe went on the disabled list on Monday.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: KCAL, MLB Network