LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal is still battling left shoulder soreness which may put into question his availability for Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Mets on Thursday night.
Grandal felt something during a swing in Game 3 on Monday in New York, and didn't play in Game 4, though that was planned.
"Yas is maybe a little bit more on the 50-50 line, depending on once he tests the swing and what he's going to be able to do. I don't think catching's going to be any kind of an issue," manager Don Mattingly said via conference call on Wednesday. "It's just a matter of, is he going to be able to swing the bat pain free and just allow him to do what he's capable of doing."
Grandal started Games 1 and 3 of the series and is 1-for-8 with a two-run single. He finished the regular season in a 4-for-84 slump (with 19 walks) after injuring his shoulder in early August.
Grandal also started behind the plate in 27 of Zack Greinke's 33 starts, including in Game 1. A.J. Ellis has started the other two games of this series.
"A.J.'s probably the best pitch caller and working with a pitcher on what's working and stuff similar to that in the game," Greinke said. "And Yas works really well with me, and his physical skills and baseball skills are as good as anyone in the game, with framing and blocking and throwing. So they both have some strengths."
Mattingly said Grandal's condition would have to worsen for the Dodgers to consider replacing him on the roster with Austin Barnes, the only other catcher on the 40-man roster.
"We haven't really talked about that. I don't think it would be, but I guess it's a possibility if we get there tomorrow and [Grandal] absolutely can't lift his arm.
"I know Stan Conte was there today who has been talking with Yasmani. He feels good today. His range of motion is better. I think he expects that there's a pretty good chance of him being able to play tomorrow, so that kind of tells me that I don't think that we'll be doing that, but obviously that could change. If he gets there and takes a few swings and can't do anything at all."