The Dodgers don't yet know the severity of the right quad injury to Mark Ellis, but in all likelihood the second baseman appears headed for a stint on the disabled list. Ellis strained his right quad while running to first base in the fifth inning, and immediately left the game. He will have an MRI exam on Saturday to determine the extent of the damage.
"He didn't think it was as bad," said manager Don Mattingly after the Dodgers' 7-5 win over the Brewers on Friday. "He kind of seemed to be optimistic, but we'll just have to see. It's tough to see that tonight. Tomorrow probably will be a better indicator."
Mattingly didn't want to speculate, but it does sound like an injury that will keep Ellis sidelined for the immediate future.
"If I had to guess, usually guys don't come out of games like that and it not be something," Mattingly said. "It's usually something that's not going to be a day or two."
Mike Petriello at Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness found some recent quad injuries and the news doesn't bode well for Ellis:
Unfortunately, this is the kind of injury that almost always results in a disabled list stint. While we of course don’t know the severity of Ellis’ strain, Ruben Tejada missed 48 days last year when he did the same thing, while Mike Napoli was out for 35. In 2008, Alex Rodriguez strained a quad, and he missed 23 days. No word yet on how long Ellis will be out… but don’t hold your breath. This is almost certainly measured in weeks, not days.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who drove in three runs with a pair of doubles on Friday, says Ellis will be missed if he has to go on the disabled list.
"It's tough. He's been playing so great for us. He's a great guy at the top of the order, and on defense," Gonzalez said. "It's definitely a tough loss if he's going to be out for a little bit."
With Ellis out, look for the Dodgers to use Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto in some rotation at second base.
"We brought Schu over, we know we wanted to be able to spell Mark Ellis," Mattingly said. "Nick gives us a chance to go a little right-handed, a little left-handed at second base. He's been a spark plug for us, and gives us a lot of energy. I still don't see him playing all the time, but part time over there keeps everybody in the mix."
But with Hanley Ramirez possibly getting activated as soon as Tuesday, and almost certainly in the next week, any potential roster addition made Saturday for Ellis could be a temporary one. Justin Sellers had two hits, including a double, and scored two runs on Friday, and though he is hitting just .224/.293/.308 on the season, he is hitting .302 (13-for-43) with a home run after his 0-for-15 start to the season. Sellers seemed the most logical candidate to be optioned once Ramirez was activated, but could be kept around as a utility infielder if the Dodgers continue to mix and match at both second and third base.
"We don't feel like Hanley is that far away. At that point, Justin is swinging the bat pretty well," Mattingly said. "Depending on the decision we make there, that will affect how we go at second base."
The Dodgers send Stephen Fife to the mound for his second start of 2013 on Saturday night, facing Wily Peralta. The 6:10 p.m. PT start will be televised by Prime Ticket