Hanley Ramirez was 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI in his first rehab game Saturday night with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. On Sunday, he is back in the Quakes lineup playing shortstop and batting leadoff. After that, it's not out of the question that could be activated as early as Monday when the Dodgers open a series with the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
"Anything is possible, the way he looked last night. Depending on what medical says," said manager Don Mattingly on Sunday. "Right now we really don't have a plan past today."
Complicating matters is that Rancho Cucmonga is off on Monday, meaning if Ramirez wanted to continue his rehab he would have to travel to Albuquerque to play for the Triple-A Isotopes. But Mattingly sounded impressed with what he saw of Ramirez on film.
"The throwing was good, the footwork was good. His at-bats were good," Mattingly said. "Some guys, it seems like they don't need to ever go down. They start hitting right away. The main thing with rehab assignments is to make sure the guy is healthy."
Ramirez is just one of several pending decisions looming for the Dodgers in the coming days.
Second baseman Mark Ellis, who strained his right quad on Friday night, took batting practice in the batting cages today and also threw on the field. The Dodgers are trying to wait and see if he improves in the next day or so before committing to putting him on the disabled list and losing him for 15 days.
"We're going to put him through different movements and things like that," Ellis said. "It's still up in the air."
Another choice is what to do with the bullpen. Mattingly said had the Dodgers tied Saturday's game in the ninth inning, he would have been forced to use Josh Wall for the 10th inning, then Kenley Jansen in the 11th, because next on his depth chart was utility man Skip Schumaker. In 2011 when he was with the Cardinals, Schumaker pitched one inning against the Dodgers in a blowout, and allowed a home run to Aaron Miles.
Mattingly said the lack of a true long man in the bullpen is a concern, even if he doesn't get used frequently.
"We don't have that true guy who can go four innings or three innings," Mattingly said. "But we don't use it that often."
Javy Guerra has been pitching multiple innings in Triple-A Albuquerque, and threw 85 pitches in five innings on Friday night. He is an option for a call-up, as are Steven Ames and Chris Withrow.
"Javy is on the roster, and I know he threw five innings the other night. I know he's getting stretched out," Mattingly said. "He's part of discussions. Anybody that is on the roster is an option. It's all about how we put this thing together in the right way."
Another option would be simply keeping Matt Magill, who threw 103 pitches Saturday night in his MLB debut. With his start getting skipped with Thursday's off day and Chris Capuano slightly more than a week away from returning, keeping Magill in the majors would mean a relief role, for now.
"It's something we're talking about," Mattingly said. "It's about what's best for him in the future, what's best for us in the future."
Time: 1:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket