LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 02: Todd Coffey #60 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after allowing a triple to Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds to score Jay Bruce #32 for a 4-2 lead during the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium on July 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Andre Ethier is out of the lineup on Tuesday for the sixth straight game with a left oblique injury, and it sounds like he could miss the rest of the games this week. The Dodgers have resisted placing Ethier on the disabled list, playing a man short for now six games, with hope he might be ready for the Arizona series starting Thursday. But that appears more and more unlikely.
Ethier felt something in his oblique while hitting in the batting cage on Tuesday, which puts a damper on him playing anytime soon.
"We're getting closer to that decision that we have to make. He swung in the cage today, but he's not going to take BP today, which keeps pushing him back," said manager Don Mattingly. "Common sense keeps telling us to make a good decision."
Ethier could be placed on the disabled list as early as Wednesday, but rather than call up someone else from Triple A Albuquerque for only a day or two, the Dodgers will likely activate second baseman Mark Ellis a day earlier than originally planned. Ellis is playing the fourth and final game of his rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night, and could be in a Dodgers uniform on Wednesday, even if only as a reserve.
"Everybody who has seen Mark feels like he is ready to go. He's pretty much had to do everything that you have to do on the field and he's feeling fine," said Mattingly.
If Ethier goes on the disabled list, it would be retroactive to June 28, which would make him technically eligible to return to the Dodgers on July 13, the date of their first game after the All-Star break.
Coffey To Disabled List
The Dodgers placed Todd Coffey on the 15-day disabled list with what the team called "right elbow soreness," though it sounds far more serious than that. Mattingly called the elbow injury "fairly significant," but deferred to the team medical staff, which wasn't available for comment before the game.
Coffey was visited on the mound by Mattingly and team trainer Sue Falsone in the eighth inning after giving up a triple during Monday's game. Coffey insisted he was fine, and proceeded to strikeout the next two hitters before allowing an RBI single to Devin Mesoraco.
There will be an injury update from the Dodgers either before or during the game, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that Coffey would likely need Tommy John surgery. From the tone of the discussion regarding Coffey, that seems closer to the truth than just "soreness."
Coffey had Tommy John surgery in August 1999 while a minor leaguer in the Cincinnati Reds' system, and missed the entire 2000 season.
Shawn Tolleson, who was optioned to Triple A on Monday but didn't yet leave Los Angeles, is back with the team and has been recalled. Technically, Tolleson hasn't yet used an option this season.
Juan Uribe is day-to-day with his right ankle sprain, and out of the lineup Tuesday night. He was in Mattingly's original lineup, but that was written before Uribe's arrival and with Mattingly assuming Uribe would be okay.
Luis Cruz starts at third base for the Dodgers, and Uribe might or might not be available to pinch hit.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.