Hamstring issue concerns Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez
Enrique Hernandez felt his left hamstring tighten Sunday night as he ran through first base on an eighth-inning groundout.
The uncertainty Hernandez felt at that moment remained with him even after Jake Arrieta finished no-hitting the Dodgers in a 2-0 victory for the Chicago Cubs.
“I’ve never had any hamstring issues before, so I really don’t even know what I felt,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez thought he was deprived of a deserved infield single in the third inning — the play was scored an error by second baseman Starlin Castro — but the Dodgers utilityman was more concerned about his status for the upcoming three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
“Just wake up tomorrow and see how it feels,” Hernandez said.
The game offered another example of Hernandez’s versatility. The 24-year-old started at his sixth position this season.
With Manager Don Mattingly wanting to rest Justin Turner, Hernandez started at third base.
Hernandez recalled a recent conversation with hitting coach Mark McGwire.
Hernandez said McGwire called him a “cameleon,” a description Hernandez thought was appropriate.
“Wherever they put me, just blend in,” Hernandez said.
The last time Hernandez had played third base was in spring training. His major league experience at the postion was limited to three games last season with the Miami Marlins.
“You get the ball, you have more time to throw the ball,” Hernandez said. “That’s it. The ball gets there a little quicker.”
Hernandez has also played all three outfield positions, as well as second base and shortstop.
The team’s previous backup third baseman, Alberto Callaspo, was designated for assignment in the wake of the recent acquisition of Chase Utley.
The other potential backup, Alex Guerrero, is batting .176 in his last 64 games.
Mike Bolsinger could be added to the rotation after the series with the Giants, Mattingly indicated.
By temporarily using a six-man rotation, the Dodgers would be able to give their pitchers each an extra day of rest.
Bolsinger, who pitched seven scoreless innings Saturday for triple-A Oklahoma City, is among the players the Dodgers are expected to add next week. Starting Tuesday, teams will be permitted to expand their rosters to as many as 40 players.
Veteran right-hander Joel Peralta, sidelined because of a strained neck, pitched three times for double-A Tulsa in the last week and could soon be activated from the disabled list.
“Joel seems like he’s ready,” Mattingly said.
Hard-throwing right-hander Carlos Frias is also on a minor league rehabilitation assignment, with Oklahoma City.
Frias was primarily a starter this season, but will return as a reliever.
By recording the final two outs of the eighth inning, left-hander J.P. Howell gained a measure of control of his future. Because the game was his 120th of the last two seasons, his $6.25-million mutual option for next season converted into a player option.
Howell, 32, has a 1.43 earned-run average in 52 appearances this season.
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