Dee Gordon is out of the lineup on Monday night but he is not injured, or at least not hurt to the point of missing significant time. Gordon had cramps in his left leg that forced him to come out of last night's game in the ninth inning, the second time in four games he was removed late in the game with cramps.
"It's just a day off, I promise," Gordon said.
Gordon, who had started the last 38 games, had eight bottles of water in his locker, a friendly reminder to the shortstop that he needed his "hydration units," as Gordon called them. Manager Don Mattingly said Gordon could have played Monday night if he absolutely had to.
"He's been getting dehydrated, so it's a situation where we're going to have to make sure we keep him off the field a little bit," Mattingly said. "We knew we were pushing him pretty good, but it's not going to hurt him to get some days."
Starting at shortstop tonight is Luis Cruz, the 28-year old infielder who nearly made the team out of spring training, but the roster crunch left no room for another non-roster player on the opening day roster. But now, there is room for Cruz.
"Luis gives us some options as a guy who's been swinging the bat, and he plays all over," Mattingly said. "We didn't really have a true shortstop besides Dee."
Cruz got the news of his promotion Sunday night and flew to Los Angeles Monday morning. he has played primarily shortstop for Triple A Albuquerque this season, but said he also played outfield for the last five years in the Mexican Winter League.
"Anywhere they need me, wherever they need me," said Cruz. "I just want to work on everything so I can be more valuable and be here."
Cruz will wear number 47 with the Dodgers.
- Mattingly said Matt Kemp would play with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes "through the weekend." Mattingly didn't have specific dates, other than to say Kemp would be the designated hitter on Tuesday, play center field on Wednesday, and DH at least one more day. The Quakes are home Tuesday, play in San Bernardino through Friday, then travel to San Jose for the weekend. It is unknown yet whether or not Kemp will make the trip to San Jose.
- Andre Ethier is out of the lineup for a fifth straight day. He's day-to-day, but a disabled list stint still seems likely. "I know he feels a lot better. It's going to get to really be more of a decision of making sure and not taking any chances," said Mattingly.
Javy Guerra will throw his second rehab game with Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, starting the game and pitching one inning. Guerra will be on track to be activated Thursday in Arizona, but again Mattingly sounded cautious. "One thing we don't want to do is rush him. We want to make sure he's ready," Mattingly said.
- Mattingly, on taking Pacific Coast League numbers with a grain of salt: "It's hard to read the stats there because of the kind of power numbers...I really just look at swings as much as anything else."
- In talking about hitters making the transition from Triple A to the majors, Mattingly said making adjustment was paramount for success. He was then asked what kind of adjustments James Loney needed to make at the plate. "Better ones," Mattingly said.
Loney snapped an 0-for-28 skid with an RBI double in the seventh inning on Sunday, and after the game went into Mattingly's office to tell him he had figured things out. "James has just really been an enigma. Last night he came into my office and said he felt like he's got it, so we'll see," said Mattingly.
Four International Players Signed
Monday marked the beginning of the international signing period, with new spending caps per the collective bargaining agreement (i.e. why Yasiel Puig and Jorge Soler had to be signed by this weekend), and the Dodgers on Monday announced the signing of a quartet of 16-year olds.
The Dodgers signed Mexican pitchers Lenix Osuna and Victor Gonzalez, as well as Venezuelan pitcher William Soto. Osuna is the son of former Dodgers pitcher Antonio Osuna.
"We are pleased to announce we have been extremely active in the July 2nd signing period and have signed multiple players with more on the horizon," said assistant general manager Logan White in a statement. "We are able to get three fine young arms with bright futures."
The Dodgers also signed Mexican catcher Julian Leon, whom White called "one of the best catching prospects on the International market."
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles TImes reported the total spent on the four players was roughly $1 million.
Miguel Cairo, the longtime middle infielder who Joe Torre a few years back called one of the best defensive first basemen he has ever seen, starts at first base Monday for the Reds in place of Joey Votto, who has an inflamed left knee. It is the second start at first base this season for Cairo, 38, and the 79th start of his career at the position.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket