Rafael Furcal wasn’t in the Dodgers lineup against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night — only this time, it wasn’t by design.
Furcal hurt his left wrist on a checked swing earlier in the week in Colorado, Manager Don Mattingly said.
Because Furcal could throw the ball without discomfort, Mattingly sent him to the field at Petco Park to play shortstop when Friday night’s suspended game was resumed Saturday afternoon. When Furcal’s turn to hit came in the 10th inning, Mattingly replaced Furcal with a pinch-hitter.
Furcal sat out the scheduled Saturday night game, which followed the suspended game.
“It’s not going to be a long-term thing,” Mattingly said. “Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Even though the Dodgers have already had two days off, Mattingly had rested Furcal in one previous game as a part of a plan to keep him healthy. Furcal has a history of back problems.
Furcal has a $12-million club option for next year that becomes guaranteed if he makes 600 plate appearances.
Furcal’s wrist felt better after the Dodgers’ day off Thursday, but the pain returned Friday night.
The shortstop, who was 0 for 4 in the suspended game, was one for 12 in the first three games of the Dodgers’ eight-game trip. He is hitting .208 this season.
Padilla optimistic about return
In the company of his teammates for the first time since the regular season started, pitcher Vicente Padilla looked noticeably slimmer.
Padilla said it was partly because he remained at their spring-training complex in Arizona recovering from arm surgery while the Dodgers played their first games of the season.
“It’s easier to be focused on your work when you’re alone,” Padilla said.
Padilla said he weighed 233 pounds when he reported to spring training and that he is down to 220.
As for his surgically repaired arm, Padilla said he plans to rest it a couple more days after visiting doctors in Los Angeles. Padilla recently felt pain in his arm as a result of a 60-pitch bullpen session.
Once the pain subsides, Padilla said he expects to make a quick return.
Asked how much time he would need to prepare himself for major league competition, he replied, “A week. The pain is the only problem. Before that, I was fine. My velocity was there, 90-92" mph.
Lilly takes hitting seriously
One scene from Friday night was the source of laughter: Ted Lilly’s fifth inning at-bat.
With two outs and the bases empty, Lilly popped up to second base.
The pitcher made an out. No harm, no foul, right?
Lilly didn’t think so.
Using both hands, Lilly raised the bat over his head and slammed it into the ground.
“Teddy really wants to be a good hitter,” Mattingly said. “He really does. He really does.”
Catcher Rod Barajas also chuckled.
“It was hilarious,” Barajas said. “I don’t know what he was expecting to do.”
Lilly, a career .107 hitter, explained his thoughts.
“I was getting pitches to hit,” Lilly said. “You’d like to take advantage. As a pitcher, you understand that we don’t hit like position players. But we also get a lot more fastballs. If Matt Kemp was pitched to the way I am, he’d hit .500.”