With Rafael Furcal on DL again, Dodgers are back on familiar territory

Reporting from San Francisco — The Dodgers are back to where they were a season ago.

Rafael Furcal is on the disabled list. Jamey Carroll is their starting shortstop.

“That’s why I’m here,” Carroll said.

Furcal, who broke his left thumb on a head-first slide into third base Monday night, visited Dr. Steven Shin in Los Angeles and was told his thumb will be in a splint for the next three weeks. He will not have surgery.


Manager Don Mattingly said he expected Furcal to be back in the lineup in four to six weeks.

Until then, Mattingly said Carroll would be the primary shortstop. Juan Uribe, who played 101 games at shortstop for the San Francisco Giants last season, could also play there on occasion.

General Manager Ned Colletti indicated he was comfortable with the in-house options to replace Furcal.

“Yeah, as of right now,” Colletti said.


Colletti said he inquired on free agent David Eckstein about a month ago, but that he had no plans to reopen talks with the former Angel.

As for Furcal’s statements Monday night that this latest injury has made him ponder retirement, they weren’t taken seriously by Colletti and Mattingly.

“He’s pretty down, he’s pretty frustrated,” Mattingly said. “He’s a sensitive guy. He really feels like he lets the team down when he’s not out there.”

This could be Furcal’s last season with the Dodgers. With a $12-million salary, plus a $1-million condition bonus, he is the highest-paid player on the team. His $12-million option for next season won’t vest unless he makes 600 plate appearances, which he is unlikely to do.

In addition to serving as Furcal’s defensive replacement, Carroll could also replace Furcal at the top of the batting order.

With the Dodgers facing a right-hander in Tim Lincecum on Tuesday, Mattingly opted to start the left-handed-hitting Tony Gwynn Jr. and bat him first. Carroll, who went into the game batting .393, batted second.

Others Mattingly said he would consider batting leadoff include Aaron Miles, Xavier Paul and Uribe.

Blake sits out


Casey Blake sat out his third consecutive game because of a bruised left thigh he suffered in a basepath collision with Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres.

“Better today,” Blake said, adding that he hoped to be back in the lineup Wednesday.

Blake said his leg bothers him when he runs.

Headley told San Diego reporters that he thought Blake invited the collision to draw a game-ending interference call, but Blake said that wasn’t the case.

“It wasn’t a veteran move,” he said.

DeJesus recalled

Ivan DeJesus Jr., who looked overmatched in his first stint in the majors, said he’s confident he’ll get better results this time around.

DeJesus made the Dodgers’ opening-day roster but was 0 for 7 with five strikeouts. Sent to triple-A Albuquerque when Blake was activated from the disabled list last week, DeJesus was recalled Tuesday to replace Furcal on the active roster.


Of how he was hitless in his first eight plate appearances, DeJesus blamed that on trying to do too much.

“I wanted to get that first hit,” DeJesus said. “Now I’m relaxed.”

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