LOS ANGELES -- Darwin Barney makes his first start at shortstop in over two years on Sunday afternoon for the Dodgers in their series finale against the Brewers. But a week from today, the Dodgers expect to have incumbent Hanley Ramirez back at shortstop.
Ramirez is on the disabled list with a right oblique strain, and his 15 days are up next weekend, making him eligible for activation on Aug. 24, the day of the series finale against the Mets and the final contest of a nine-game homestand.
Manager Don Mattingly said the team expects Ramirez to be ready for activation at the end of his 15 days.
"Hanley looks good right now. He continues to hit, he was probably 90 percent yesterday. It's really what we kind of thought, about eight to 10 days," Mattingly said. "Unless we have a setback in some way we feel like Hanley will be back up [at the end of 15 days]."
Ramirez has been hitting, and also taking grounders in the field. He even took grounders at third base, leading to speculation he might move positions especially with Juan Uribe likely sidelined for a while with a right hamstring strain.
Mattingly said that in the long term Ramirez will likely move to third base, but in the short term there are no plans to move him off shortstop. In other words, Ramirez was just messing with us.
"He was taking balls in center field, too," Mattingly said. "I think he just likes making everybody raise their eyes and ask questions. But there's no talk at all [about moving him]."
Barney played the final two innings at shortstop on Saturday night. He last started at the position in a major league game on July 6, 2012. Sunday marks his 21st career game at shortstop, and 15th start. Barney played six of his nine games with Triple-A Albuquerque at shortstop.
Drew Butera gets the start at catcher in the series finale, his 12th start in 34 day games this season. Butera has five extra-base hits (three doubles, home run, triple) in 41 plate appearances in day games this year, and five extra-base hits (three doubles, two home runs) in 121 plate appearances in night games.
Jean Segura is back at shortstop for the Brewers on Sunday after missing Saturday's game with a right hand contusion suffered while trying to break up a double play on Friday night.