The Dodgers got good news Wednesday night with the return of second baseman Mark Ellis, who returned after missing 43 games and appeared as a pinch runner and played second base in the Dodgers' 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. But the bad news was that Ellis pinch ran for shortstop Dee Gordon, who dislocated his right thumb while sliding into third base in the eighth inning.
"It felt like I hit something real hard," Gordon said. "As soon as I got up I knew I jammed it, and when I looked at my batting gloves and it looked disfigured."
Gordon had x-rays on his thumb that showed nothing broken, but he will have to undergo an MRI exam, likely Thursday morning, to determine the extent of the damage. Gordon, who routinely slides headfirst, said this injury was very unique.
"That's never happened before, this was the first time. I get stepped on every now and then," Gordon said.
Gordon had swelling in his thumb, which was in a splint and heavily bandaged in the clubhouse after the game. Gordon said he will continue to ice his thumb over night and that hopefully the swelling will go down.
"Hopefully I'm back in there tomorrow," Gordon said, hoping. "I want to be."
Kemp Knows The Way
In his second minor league rehab game with Class A Rancho Cucamonga, Matt Kemp went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and three RBI on Wednesday night, playing five innings in center field. Kemp will continue his rehab with the Quakes through Sunday, including a pair of games over the weekend in San Jose.
Aaron Harang did his part to help relieve stress on the Dodgers' six-man bullpen by pitching seven strong inning on Wednesday, and if he had his way he would have pitched even more. Harang needed just 84 pitches to get through his seven innings, but with a 3-1 lead at the time manager Don Mattingly decided to go with Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansen for the final two innings to close out the much needed win.
"He had his mind made up," Harang said, laughing. "I was trying everything to stay out there, but when a manager gets a feeling there's not always time to talk him out of it."
The Dodgers haven't yet made a decision on when to activate Javy Guerra, who has been medically cleared to return to the team. Guerra will travel with the team to Arizona and will either be activated off the disabled list or will pitch one more rehab game at the Dodgers training facility at Camelback Ranch. Mattingly said the team would make a decision in Arizona, but it sounds like ideally the club would like to wait until after the All-Star break to activate Guerra.
One factor to consider this weekend is that with the All-Star break approaching and four days in between games, Dodgers starters could be used in the bullpen this weekend if needed. Mattingly said he talked with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt about Harang and possibly Nathan Eovaldi, Thursday's starter being available to pitch an inning or so Saturday and/or Sunday.
The Dodgers hit the road to battle the Arizona Diamondbacks for four games in Phoenix, beginning Thursday night. Eovaldi starts the opener against National League All-Star Wade Miley.