Dodgers Notes: Mark Ellis Progressing, Aaron Miles Retires, Designated Hitter

Mark Ellis is progressing, though there is still no timetable on his return to the Dodgers.

The Dodgers conclude a stretch of 20 games in 20 days with their series finale Wednesday night against the Angels. After nearly three weeks without an off day, the Dodgers have two in the next five days with Thursday and Monday off.

"It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. We could have had Monday off, played Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then the weekend, and had another Monday off," said manager Don Mattingly. "To have two (off days) like this close together is a little different."

Mattingly said he talked with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and they decided to use the two days as extra off days for the starting pitchers, and there are no plans to shuffle the current rotation order.

Ellis Progressing

Second baseman Mark Ellis took grounders for the first time on Tuesday, and did so again on Wednesday. His left leg is taped, as he just had stitches removed last week. Ellis is just happy to be active again.

"I've been building strength in my leg. I did basically nothing for two weeks, so I'm trying to get back in shape," Ellis said. "To be where I'm at now is definitely a positive."

Ellis continues to progress from his leg injury, suffered May 19 against the St. Louis Cardinals, but said there is no real timetable yet for his return. But when he is ready, Ellis will play in a few minor league rehab games before he returns to the Dodgers.

"I have to play a couple of games to see where I'm at," Ellis said. "Hopefully it won't be very long, because rehab games aren't very fun. You want to be sharp when you come back, and be able to contribute."

What About Designated Bunter?

Mattingly was asked about the designated hitter, and its use in interleague play.

"As a National League team, you set your club up differently than an American League. If I'm Ned Yost and I've got Billy Butler over there DH-ing, I want to use the DH. We're sitting here with three utility guys that have to play all over the field, and we don't really have a DH," Mattingly said. "We're setting our club up to play National League games, where pitchers have to hit and you have to double switch. It's just not fair to the National League teams to have to DH."

Mattingly has changed his tune from his playing days.

"I like this league. I grew up and played all in the American League, and I didn't give this league its credit," Mattingly said. "If I had a vote, there should be no DH at all."

Miles Retires

After hitting .235/.297/.338 in 18 games for Triple A Albuquerque, infielder Aaron Miles has retired. The 35-year old signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers on May 11, after hitting .275/.314/.346 in 136 games last season for the Dodgers. Miles made the Dodgers out of spring training in 2011 as the 25th man on the roster, but ended up just nine plate appearances short of qualifying for the batting title, and started 61 games at second base and 49 games at third base.

"He started off really well there in Triple A, then struggled a little bit," said Mattingly. "I haven't talked to him, but I want to text him and see what's going on."

Miles was in a 5-for-32 slump over his last 10 games. Mattingly said he might try to talk Miles out of retirement, but only if he sensed Miles still wanted to play.

"Things change quick. If he's not having any fun I wouldn't (try to talk Miles out of retirement)," Mattingly said. "Next thing you know you're hot, you're swinging the bat good, somebody gets hurt and you have a chance to be here, maybe you'd feel a little different."

Starting Lineups

CF Trout SS Gordon (L)
RF Hunter CF Herrera (S)
1B Pujols LF Rivera
LF Trumbo RF Ethier (L)
2B Kendrick
2B Hairston
3B Callaspo (S)
C Ellis
SS Aybar (S) 1B Loney (L)
C Hester
3B Uribe
P Wilson P Eovaldi

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket, Fox Sports West

MLB Gameday

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