Dodgers put Andre Ethier on the disabled list

Andre Ethier took batting practice Wednesday and performed the other baseball-related drills “I would regularly do if I was playing in the game,” he said.

But Ethier was not playing in the game, having been put on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day because of a strained rib-cage muscle. He joined the Dodgers’ other slugger, Matt Kemp, who’s out because of a hamstring injury.

Mark Ellis, meanwhile, was activated after injuring his left leg so badly May 19 that he required emergency surgery. Ellis was hurt when he was upended handling a double-play ball.

Ethier said that he had not suffered a setback in his recovery and that the move to the DL was precautionary because the Dodgers have only one four-game series left, with the Arizona Diamondbacks starting Thursday, before the All-Star break.

Ethier and Manager Don Mattingly said they hoped Ethier could join Kemp in returning July 13, the first game after the break.

Ethier strained his left oblique during an at-bat June 27 against the Giants in San Francisco, and his stint on the disabled list was retroactive to June 28.

“It didn’t seem to make any sense” to keep Ethier on the active roster, possibly play him and “taking a chance of it being another four weeks or something” if the injury was aggravated, Mattingly said.

Mattingly also said that, barring any setbacks, Ethier should not need a minor league rehabilitation game before rejoining the Dodgers. Ethier was batting .291 when he was hurt, with 10 home runs and 55 runs batted in.

Luis Cruz contributes

The son of a former Mexican league baseball player, Luis Cruz grew up dreaming of one day playing for the Dodgers.

Cruz is finally getting his chance after spending several years in the minor leagues and the Mexican league as well, and the 28-year-old shortstop has driven in runs in his first three games as a Dodger.

He singled to drive in the Dodgers’ first run against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning Wednesday, then doubled when his fly ball glanced off the glove of left fielder Ryan Ludwick in the second inning.

On Tuesday, Cruz had a run-scoring double, his first hit as a Dodger, to help the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the Reds, and Monday he had a sacrifice fly.

“Now that I’m here, I want to do my best to stay here as long as I can,” said Cruz, who was batting .318 at triple-A Albuquerque when he was called up Monday.

Cruz had brief stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008 and 2009 and with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010. His first big league hit came in 2008 against Dodgers starter Aaron Harang, who pitched for Cincinnati at the time.

“The ball jumps off his bat a little bit and we know he’s got some versatility around the infield,” Mattingly said of Cruz. “We’ll see.”