The Dodgers don't have the services of Mark Ellis on Monday against the Rockies, his third consecutive game missed with a strained right quad. But the second baseman continues to progress, and the club continues to wait and see if he can avoid a stint on the disabled list.
"He's better, but we're pretty much still in the same boat. He's taken BP, I know he's thrown. He ran a little bit, and taken ground balls. I know he's been able to do a lot," said manager Don Mattingly before Monday's game against the Rockies. "The thing between him and medical is just making sure that we don't do anything that would cause any damage, do something that would set him out for a month.
"It's more of a medical decision than a baseball decision right now."
Ellis strained his right quad while running to first base on Friday night against the Brewers, an injury that looked at the time sure to land him on the disabled list. But the Dodgers have thus far delayed that decision, essentially playing with a man short on their roster in the interim.
"You can (play shorthanded). Sometimes you get a game, or 10 games, where you don't need that extra guy. But then you run into a game where you'd like to be able to pinch hit but you end up with a pitcher hitting," Mattingly said. "You just have to be a little creative and be careful with your players early in the game. You can't just burn guys."
With the activation of Hanley Ramirez and the placement of Clayton Kershaw on the bereavement list on Monday, the Dodgers regained an extra bench player they will have through at least the series against Colorado. Perhaps by the weekend series, they will have a clearer idea of whether Ellis is either ready to play or needing to go on the disabled list.
Zack Greinke threw from 90 feet on Monday, 16 days after surgery to repair a broken left collarbone. "Today was a good day. He was pretty excited when he walked in the weight room today," Mattingly said. "We're getting closer, so obviously he feels better."
Mattingly said that reliever Scott Elbert, who had two elbow surgeries then suffered a setback late in spring training, continues to throw off a mound at the Dodgers' training facility in Arizona, and progress from his injury. Elbert had a platelet-rich plasma injection on Mar. 25, and has had no setbacks since then. "Ever since he got that injection after that second surgery, he's been pretty much on schedule," Mattingly said. "Everything has been positive with Scott, other than taking a while."