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Three Dodgers out of lineup vs. Cubs; Paco Rodriguez called up

BaseballMajor League BaseballPaul MaholmLos Angeles DodgersDon MattinglyAdrian GonzalezYasiel Puig
A.J. Ellis, Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig are out of the lineup Saturday because of injuries

The Dodgers were going to ask Saturday for a show of hands of all healthy players but were afraid someone might hurt something.

As it is, they filled out a lineup devoid of Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis, and placed Paul Maholm on the disabled list because of a knee injury. It had been a tough Friday night.

Paco Rodriguez was called up from triple-A Albuquerque to fill Maholm’s spot on the roster -- though not exactly his role -- but otherwise the Dodgers planned to meet the Cubs on Saturday with a lot of make-due material.

Justin Turner got the start at first base for Gonzalez. It will be the infielder’s 2014 debut at first, though he’s played it 21 times in his career (11 last season for the Mets). Scott Van Slyke is the normal backup first baseman, but he will start in center field with the Cubs starting left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada. Drew Butera is at catcher for Ellis.

And first-base coach Davey Lopes, still a gamer, is back after slipping and falling on the dugout steps Friday.

Gonzalez bruised a knee Friday sliding home, Puig had a sore hamstring from running the bases, Ellis took a pitch off the same knee he had bruised the previous night and Maholm tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Outside of Maholm, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said the injuries were not serious.

“Adrian’s good today,” Mattingly said. “He was getting a day today anyway with a lefty and his back had been a little bit stiff the other day. Adrian, if I had to use him to pinch-hit, double-switch him into the game, I am pretty confident that he’d be available.

“A.J. after taking that shot off his knee the other day took another one last night. Same exact spot. He could go too in an emergency situation, but he’s going to be down a day, maybe two.

“Yasiel came in pretty good today. Being kind of cautious today. Probably be able to use him to pinch-hit, I don’t know if we’ve got the double-switch part. Think we’re going to be able to use him tonight. So it could’ve been worse.”

It could not have been a whole lot worse for right-hander Dan Haren, who suffered his fifth consecutive poor outing and seems to be holding onto his rotation spot largely because the Dodgers have no other good option. He is still scheduled to take his next turn in the rotation.

“As I sit here today, Danny goes,” Mattingly said.

“I mean, I guess anything could change. We don’t know what could happen between now and then. There’s no plans, no talk of that changing that’s been told to me or talked about.”

Maholm was a possibility to replace Haren in the rotation, at least until he probably ended his season Friday. Rodriguez takes his spot in the bullpen, but is more of a left-handed specialist and not someone who could eat up a few innings like Maholm.

“Obviously we use Paul as … a long guy out of our bullpen,” Mattingly said. “Depending on where we're at, we could use him short. Now we’ve got Paco who’s more of a situational lefty for us. So it kind of changes the roles a little bit.

“We’ll have to figure that out [as we go] along, the extra-inning, long-guy piece. So definitely takes away from our depth a little bit as far as starting pitching. It leaves us with some gaps.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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BaseballMajor League BaseballPaul MaholmLos Angeles DodgersDon MattinglyAdrian GonzalezYasiel Puig
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