LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers battle the Reds on Tuesday night, and the lineup features more of the same. Matt Kemp is out of the starting lineup for a fifth straight game. Hanley Ramirez was originally slated to join him on the bench, but instead was a late addition back into the starting lineup.
Erisbel Arruebarrena was originally in the lineup at shortstop for a fifth straight game, but now Ramirez gets the nod for the first time since Thursday in New York. Ramirez is still dealing with a lower leg injury, that has been at times described as a calf injury and an Achilles injury. Mmanager Don Mattingly said after Monday's game that the shortstop was unavailable even to pinch hit on Monday, his third straight complete game missed.
With Ramirez back in the lineup, he bats cleanup behind the red hot Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez bats fifth for the first time as a Dodger. Since he was acquired from Boston on Aug. 25, 2012, Gonzalez had only made starts batting third (122 times) or cleanup (113 times).
With Kemp, he was benched after poor play in center field in New York, but we have reached the fifth day of whatever lesson Mattingly is trying to deliver. Kemp's one appearance in the last four games came as a pinch hitter on Saturday against the Phillies.
The chasm between Mattingly and Kemp lies in their perception of Kemp's health, and was perhaps best explained by J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
“We’ve still got to go back to him getting to 100 percent,” Mattingly said. “We don’t feel like he’s moving the way he did a couple years ago. We still feel like maybe physically he is back because he isn’t on the medical report but you see the steps sometimes, he doesn’t really want to stop hard. Maybe that’s getting over that little fear of the ankle where it’s at. This gives him more time to be able to get to where we feel he’s 100 percent, continue him to work in center but also work in left field which we feel is best for the ballclub at this moment.”
Chone Figgins gets the start at third base on Tuesday, while Drew Butera, who took a foul ball directly off the mask while catching and his own foul ball off his leg while batting on Monday, is back behind the plate for a third straight game.