Dodgers place Chris Hatcher on DL, activate Scott Van Slyke

Dodgers place Chris Hatcher on DL, activate Scott Van Slyke
Chris Hatcher is pictured on opening day, when he picked up the save in a 6-3 victory over San Diego. But he has had his struggles, going 1-4 with a 6.38 earned-run average. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Those clamoring for the exit of right-hander Chris Hatcher will have to be mollified by his being placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Dodgers Wednesday with a left oblique strain.

Hatcher's going to the DL allowed the Dodgers to activate outfielder Scott Van Slyke (mid-back inflammation) and immediately insert him into Wednesday’s lineup against the Rangers.

The Dodgers believe it is a mild strain and are hopeful Hatcher will be able to return soon after his 15-day stay on the DL. He had an MRI exam early Wednesday.

There had been no mention of Hatcher straining his oblique, but the right-hander said he suffered the injury Sunday in San Diego when he retired the only two batters he faced.


"I didn't feel it on any one pitch, you have all the adrenalin going, but after the game," Hatcher said.

Manager Don Mattingly said he learned about the injury Monday in Texas.

"At that point they were kind of hoping it would subside," Mattingly said. "Then [Tuesday] just asking him how he felt and seeing his face, it wasn't very good. I kinda had a feeling today the result wouldn't be very good."

With Hatcher being replaced on the roster, the Dodgers will temporarily go with six relievers. With Brett Anderson pitching eight innings Tuesday and Clayton Kershaw starting Wednesday, Mattingly said a rested bullpen should allow for a momentary shortage of relievers.

"We're going to have to get back to normal" Thursday, he said.

That means another reliever will have to be called up Thursday. Mattingly said none of the relievers currently rehabbing – Brandon League, Joel Peralta, Pedro Baez, Paco Rodriguez – are ready to be activated.

League said he would next pitch an inning Friday for triple-A Oklahoma City and two innings on Sunday; Mattingly said Peralta and Baez would also pitch Friday for OKC.

Mattingly said he was unsure when Hatcher would begin to throw again. Outfielder Carl Crawford has been on the DL because of a strained oblique since April 28.

"Any of that would be a guess," he said. "We thought Carl would be 21 to 30 [days] and now we're heading toward 60.

"We're hoping we're catching it at the early stage and it's not going to be an extended time and something close to the 15."

Hatcher is 1-4 with a 6.38 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP in 27 appearances for the Dodgers, who had hoped he could prove to be their eighth-inning guy.

"I felt like I was making pretty good progress with my mechanics with the way the ball was coming out," Hatcher said. "Speed bumps."

Hatcher, 30, said this is the first time he's been on the disabled list.