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Dodgers put Kenta Maeda and Chase Utley on disabled list, call up rookie Dennis Santana

Los Angeles Times sports writer Andy McCullough and columnist Dylan Hernandez talk about Dodgers baseball and Clayton Kershaw's return.

Beset by yet another injury to their starting rotation and scrambling for coverage in their bullpen, the Dodgers made a pair of roster moves before Wednesday’s game against Philadelphia.

The team placed Kenta Maeda (right hip strain) and Chase Utley (left thumb sprain) on the 10-day disabled list while calling up rookie pitcher Dennis Santana and ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte. Santana could start this weekend against Colorado, though manager Dave Roberts would not commit to that Wednesday.

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Santana arrived because Maeda injured himself Tuesday evening. An MRI confirmed the training staff’s initial diagnosis, Roberts said. Maeda viewed the injury as a minor one, but the team will be cautious with his return.

“Our hope is it’s one start,” Roberts said. “But we are putting him on the disabled list to make sure we get this behind us, it’s really important. Kenta doesn’t want to miss any starts. He doesn’t want to come out of a game. We’ve got to make sure that he understands this is for his best interest for the rest of the year going forward.”

Maeda became the fourth member of the opening day starting rotation to land on the disabled list. Clayton Kershaw (biceps tendinitis) will be activated Thursday. Hyun-Jin Ryu (torn groin muscle) may not be back until at least July. Rich Hill (blister) has no definitive timetable.

Santana, a 22-year-old right-hander, made two starts for triple-A Oklahoma City after dominating in eight outings with double-A Tulsa earlier in the season. Santana has struck out 65 batters in 49 2/3 innings.

Dodgers relief pitcher Dennis Santana was called up from AA after Kenta Maeda was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip strain at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
Dodgers relief pitcher Dennis Santana was called up from AA after Kenta Maeda was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip strain at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)

He was scheduled to start in Nashville on Tuesday night. The game was postponed because of rain. A couple of hours after Santana fell asleep, he was awoken by his roommate. His phone wouldn’t stop ringing. It was Dodgers director of player development Brandon Gomes, telling Santana about the promotion.

“Even though the room was cold, I felt really warm,” Santana said through his interpreter, Jesus Quinonez. “I was sweating. I’m so excited. It’s been two days, I haven’t slept.”

After a productive start to the season, Utley’s production has vanished in May. He hit .137 for the month with a .381 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Short hops

Wearing a bandage on his blister-ridden left middle finger, Hill took part in a simulated game Wednesday afternoon. In between Hill’s innings, utility man Enrique Hernandez pitched to closer Kenley Jansen. Both Hernandez and Jansen survived the session . . . Danny Espinosa, a former infielder for the Angels, was released by Oklahoma City. Espinosa hit .150 in 19 games.

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