Don Mattingly isn’t blaming injuries for Dodgers’ woes
The Dodgers’ starting lineup Sunday did not include first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who has been bothered by a strained neck. And there was some doubt outfielders Carl Crawford (hamstring) and Andre Ethier, who banged his toe against the outfield wall Saturday, would play, adding to the growing injury concerns for a team that already has nine players on the disabled list.
But Manager Don Mattingly said the small, persistent injuries do little more than complicate his lineup card from time to time.
“With Adrian, he’s been able to play. He’s been productive,” he said. “You know that he’s pretty much going to be back out there.
“The bigger [injuries] hurt you more. The little ones are kind of nagging and kind of feel like they’re piling on a little bit.”
The Dodgers aren’t the only team ailing, of course. The Miami Marlins started the game Sunday with 11 players on the DL and the New York Yankees are without three-quarters of their starting infield. So, Mattingly said, neither he nor team President Stan Kasten are using the injuries as either an excuse or as a reason to panic.
“There’s always a sense of urgency when you’ve got a club like this,” Mattingly said. “Stan’s been around a long time. He sees that we’re missing a lot of parts. But … I just don’t think we accept that.
“We’re still pretty good. We’ve got a lot of good players. And we just can’t accept that because you’ve got guys hurt, they can’t at least tread water until you get guys back. We’re banged up, yes. But we’ve got to at least be able to hold our own and stay in the hunt until we get it going in the other direction.”
Speaking of injuries, the Dodgers’ training room may soon be emptying.
Infielder Mark Ellis, out since April 26 because of a strained right quadriceps, was running sprints in the outfield Sunday morning and once he’s cleared to run the bases, he could head out a minor league rehab assignment. And the team is expected to decide Monday whether right-hander Zack Greinke (fractured left clavicle) will pitch Wednesday for the Dodgers or make another minor league start.
Greinke, out since April 12, threw a bullpen session Sunday.
Utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. (left groin strain) is also making progress in his comeback although he won’t be eligible to come off the DL until next week.
Matt Kemp’s second hit of the game, a broken-bat single to center field in the fifth inning, was his 1,000th hit. Among Dodgers, only Pedro Guerrero (3,256 at-bats) and Steve Garvey (3,328) reached 1,000 hits faster than Kemp, who did it in 3,402 at-bats. Kemp also extended his hitting streak to a season-long 11 games, during which he has hit .319. ... Kenley Jansen came on with one out and the tying run in scoring position in the seventh inning and got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters. He struck out two in the eighth and has struck out 11 of the last 14 batters he has retired. In his last five appearances, he has given up only one hit.
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