Dodger outfielder Todd Hollandsworth added injury to insult in a year that has been anything but a rerun of last season when he was National League Rookie of the Year.
Hollandsworth slumped enough at the plate earlier this season to be sent down to the Dodgers’ triple-A team at Albuquerque.
On Saturday, after batting .367 over his previous 20 games to raise his season average to .254, Hollandsworth was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken bone near his right elbow, which probably will sideline him for two to four weeks.
To replace Hollandsworth, the Dodgers have purchased the contract of outfielder Wayne Kirby from Albuquerque and designated right-handed pitcher Matt Herges, who is at double-A San Antonio, for assignment.
If Herges is not claimed within a week, he could be returned to San Antonio.
What is especially frustrating about the Hollandsworth injury is that it occurred on a play that was unnecessary.
It was the fourth inning of Friday’s 13-9 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Hollandsworth was on second base after a double, and headed home on a single to left by pitcher Hideo Nomo.
Because of a quick recovery by left fielder Doug Glanville and a strong throw to the plate, it was going to be a close play and Hollandsworth should have slid.
But Roger Cedeno, standing in the on-deck circle, never gave the slide sign to Hollandsworth. So he came in standing up and was tagged out by Chicago catcher Tyler Houston.
Hollandsworth fell awkwardly to the ground on the tag and that, he believes, is when he got hurt.
“I had a little trouble extending my elbow,” he said, “but I was able to keep playing. I guess it was the heat of the battle.”
Hollandsworth shortened his swing and got one hit--a single--in his two remaining at-bats to give him three hits.
But by the time he got back to his hotel room, the range of motion in Hollandsworth’s injured arm had decreased even more.
He tried soaking the arm in a bucket of ice in his hotel room. But by Saturday morning, the elbow sore and swollen, Hollandsworth knew it was time to seek the help of the Dodger trainers.
Kirby, a seven-year veteran who had been with the Cleveland Indians before being claimed off waivers by the Dodgers in June 1996, was batting .338 at Albuquerque with 10 home runs, 38 runs batted in and 16 stolen bases in 59 games.
In 31 games with the Dodgers earlier this season, he batted .162 with two RBIs.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
DODGERS’ ISMAEL VALDES (6-9, 2.97 ERA) vs. CUBS’ STEVE TRACHSEL (5-8, 4.79 ERA)
Wrigley Field, 5 p.m.
TV--ESPN. Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).
* Update--Faced with the curve thrown them in their schedule by major league baseball, the Dodgers are hoping to make it as easy on themselves as possible over the next few days in order to keep their momentum going in a tight division race that has them tied with the San Francisco Giants. The last thing the Dodgers would want to see today is extra innings. Or even a four-hour game. Even if everything goes smoothly and quickly, the Dodgers don’t figure to get to bed in Cooperstown, N.Y., before 4 a.m. Monday. They are taking a detour to Cooperstown, a very unpopular detour in the Dodger clubhouse, in order to play the San Diego Padres in the Hall of Fame game Monday, a meaningless exhibition. The Dodgers must then get back on a plane and travel to Montreal, where they continue their 10-game trip by opening a three-game series against the Expos on Tuesday night.