For the second time in two weeks, Hanley Ramirez is out of the Dodgers' lineup because of an irritated joint in his right shoulder.
Ramirez was treated with a cortisone shot when the injury last surfaced, and he returned after missing two starts. For now, the Dodgers do not plan injections or additional testing for Ramirez, although either could happen "if this thing persists," Manager Don Mattingly said.
Tuesday's game marks the seventh this season in which Ramirez has not started because of injury -- three for this shoulder injury, three because of a bruised calf, and one because of a bruised thumb.
Ramirez, 30, is eligible for free agency this fall. He says he wants to stay, and the Dodgers say they want to keep him, but they also want to assess his durability before committing what might be $100 million or more on him.
The Dodgers are notorious for downplaying injuries, and Mattingly took that tack in discussing Ramirez's shoulder injury Tuesday.
"It seems like Hanley has had a little bit of this over the past couple years," Mattingly said. He added: "At this point, I'm not that concerned. I could be, but I don't think it would do me any good."
Ramirez felt the discomfort while batting Monday, Mattingly said. Ramirez, who is riding a 10-game hitting streak, is batting .269 with 10 home runs in 73 games.
In his absence -- and with second baseman Dee Gordon given the day off against Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy -- the Dodgers were starting an infield that included Miguel Rojas at second base, Carlos Triunfel at shortstop and Justin Turner at third base. Clayton Kershaw was set to start Tuesday, in his first game since his no-hitter last week.
"When Kersh is pitching, you really want to catch the ball," Mattingly said. "I feel like we're going to do that."
The shoulder injuries spread to the minor leagues on Tuesday. Outfielder Joc Pederson, the Dodgers' top prospect, injured his right shoulder when he dived for a ball for triple-A Albuquerque.
Mattingly, to whom the Dodgers delegate the release of all medical information, said he had no specific information about the injury. He said Pederson accompanied the Isotopes back home and would be examined in Albuquerque on Wednesday.
Pederson, 22, is considered a better defensive center fielder than anyone on the Dodgers' roster, but the outfield logjam leaves no room for him in Los Angeles. He is batting .319 at Albuquerque, with 17 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 74 games, and a 1.005 OPS.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times