Hanley Ramirez was smiling Sunday. Clayton Kershaw wasn't.
Whereas Ramirez was able to pinch-hit a day after he bruised his surgically repaired right thumb, Kershaw was informed by the Dodgers he would pitch in another minor league game before making his return from the disabled list.
Asked whether he was fine with the team's decision, Kershaw replied, "Not really."
Sidelined because of a strained back muscle, Kershaw hasn't pitched for the Dodgers since the their season opener in Australia on March 22.
Kershaw wanted to pitch for the Dodgers on Wednesday in Minnesota. Instead, he'll start for one of the club's minor league affiliates, perhaps double-A Chattanooga.
"I did the best I could, but I'm not going to fight the team if everybody doesn't want me to do something," Kershaw said. "It's what they want me to do."
The start figures to line up Kershaw to pitch in the Dodgers' series opener in Washington on May 5.
The series against the Nationals will be the last stop for the Dodgers in a three-city trip. The Dodgers open a three-game series in Minnesota on Tuesday and a three-game series in Miami on Friday.
Kershaw has pitched in a minor league game. He started Saturday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, throwing 56 pitches over five innings.
Kershaw threw a bullpen session Sunday, which he described as "normal."
"I guess that's kind of the hard part, is going to pitch another game when you feel healthy," he said.
Meanwhile, Ramirez said he was free of the discomfort he felt in his thumb after his third-inning at-bat Saturday.
Even before the injury, Ramirez was scheduled to be out of the lineup Sunday. With only three other bench players available, the Dodgers added a fourth reserve by calling up infielder Carlos Triunfel from triple-A Albuquerque. Reliever Jose Dominguez was optioned to triple A.
But Ramirez was able to pinch-hit in the ninth inning of the Dodgers' 6-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies and reach base on an infield single.
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