SAN FRANCISCO — The Dodgers gave Dee Gordon their shortstop job last season, and they had to trade for Hanley Ramirez. When Ramirez was injured this spring, they gave the job to Justin Sellers and sent Gordon to the minor leagues.
With Ramirez injured again, the Dodgers are giving Gordon what might be his last chance to show he can be an everyday shortstop for them.
The Dodgers officially put Ramirez on the disabled list Saturday because of a strained left hamstring, recalling Gordon and inserting him into the starting lineup. Ramirez is scheduled for an MRI examination Monday — and perhaps an injection of platelet-rich plasma — but the Dodgers expect him to miss several weeks.
Gordon, 25, was batting .314 with a .397 on-base percentage at triple-A Albuquerque. He has 14 stolen bases in 16 tries. He also has eight errors in 25 games.
“We wanted Dee to get a full year [at triple A] where he got a chance to work on his game,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s out of need that he’s here. I don’t want to say that like it’s bad. He could be somebody who comes in here and we take off.”
The Dodgers cited defense as the primary reason they turned to Sellers and not Gordon to open the season, when Ramirez was on the disabled list after thumb surgery. Gordon made 18 errors last season, the second-highest total among National League shortstops, even though he played only 79 games.
However, Sellers is batting .194, would-be backup shortstop Luis Cruz is batting .098, and the Dodgers have scored fewer runs than any team in the major leagues except the Miami Marlins.
“If Dee gets on, he creates runs,” Mattingly said.
Gordon said he was “not at all” upset when the Dodgers snubbed him this spring and summoned Sellers from minor league camp to replace Ramirez.
“I could have gone to triple A and been a punk about it,” Gordon said. “I chose to play.”
Wait a second
Gordon said he had no idea of the origin of a report that the Dodgers had asked him to take ground balls at second base. He said he took about 10 ground balls there one day, just to give a winded teammate a break.
The Dodgers did not ask him to work out at second base, he said. When they read the report, they told him not to take ground balls there again.
“I didn’t know I could get in trouble for helping a teammate,” he said.
Zack back quick?
The Dodgers are hopeful that pitcher Zack Greinke can return in two to three weeks. He is about three weeks ahead of schedule.
The Dodgers estimated that Greinke would miss eight weeks when he had surgery to repair the broken collarbone suffered in a fight with Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres. That was three weeks ago, and Greinke already has thrown two bullpen sessions.
If Greinke remains ahead of schedule, he would be available to start against the Padres when they visit Dodger Stadium June 3-5.
Gonzalez not back
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the lineup for a second consecutive day because of neck stiffness. Gonzalez wore a neck brace in the clubhouse and received treatment on his neck and upper back.