Dodgers utility man Jerry Hairston went 0-for-2 on Saturday night and played five innings in left field for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga in what was his second and likely final game on his minor league rehab assignment. Hairston will return to the Dodgers on Sunday and could be activated from the disabled list.
"It was good. We'll see how he came out of that. He played hard, ran hard," manager Don Mattingly said of Hairston's Friday outing with the Quakes. "He was wanting to say he's ready, but medical wanted one more day. We'll see how he comes out of that, then make a decision."
Hairston, who was placed on the disabled list on May 7 with a strained left groin, played six innings at third base Friday night for the Quakes, and figures to play more infield than outfield with the Dodgers as currently constructed.
"We'll get Jerry back fairly soon, and with our combination of guys Jerry is more of an infielder in our scheme now," Mattingly said.
That comment all but solidifies a roster spot for Scott Van Slyke, who has impressed in his 10 games so far with three home runs and two doubles. It also means the end of the line for either Dee Gordon, who snapped an 0-for-25 skid with a single on Saturday, or Luis Cruz, who is hitting just .096 (7-for-73) and has taken over the 2012 Uribe role as the man who never plays.
I would guess Cruz will be designated for assignment once Hairston is activated, whether that be Sunday, Monday, or whenever. If only because the club doesn't want to burn out Nick Punto and will need someone else to play shortstop occasionally over the next two weeks or so until Hanley Ramirez returns from the disabled list.
Yes, Cruz can play shortstop too but he already has been passed over at the position. He last played shortstop on Apr. 27, 24 games ago, and if Cruz couldn't supplant a .167/.265/.250-hitting Gordon, when would he ever get playing time?