Matt Kemp & Juan Uribe Go Down, Jerry Sands & Elian Herrera Come Up

Matt Kemp will head to the disabled list with a hamstring problem and Jerry Sands will take his place.

The Dodgers lost their best player on Monday night as Matt Kemp was placed on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. The news was pretty much expected since before the game, when manager Don Mattingly, Kemp, and the training staff had a lengthy meeting with Dr. Neal ElAttrache about Kemp’s MRI results, which confirmed a left hamstring strain.

“It’s a mild strain, but the doctor said if you do it again, it can go from a grade one to a grade two, and then you’re talking four weeks,” Mattingly said. “Now he has a chance to get healthy, and make sure he doesn’t have any long-term effects from this thing.”

While this is a blow, I think most can agree it’s better for him to get healthy now than to risk wrecking himself, as he admitted that it was affecting his play.

He admitted he’s been playing at half-speed since injuring the leg last Saturday in Chicago. He reinjured it trying to leg out a ground ball Sunday and was removed from the game.

“I’ve been a little scared to do certain things,” he said. “I felt it in there a little bit. I just wanted to help my team any way possible, but I was babying it a little. I came to that realization.”

Perhaps the best part about all of this is that Andre Ethier may see time in center field.

Gwynn will be the primary center fielder with Kemp on the shelf, which Mattingly doesn’t think will be more than 15 days. But Mattingly also wants to make sure Gwynn doesn’t get overused, and said he would use Andre Ethier in center field for “two or three games” with Kemp out.

Yikes.

As an alternative though, why can’t Jerry Sands and Scott Van Slyke play first base? The defense is a downgrade, but James Loney still isn’t hitting.

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In other injury news, Juan Uribe is out.

The sudden wave of Dodgers injuries continued Monday when they had to put third baseman Juan Uribe on the 15-day disabled list with recurring left wrist soreness.

The Dodgers replaced him by purchasing the contract of Triple-A Albuquerque utility man Elian Herrera and designating outfielder Trent Oeltjen for assignment.

I’m not sure why Elian Herrera has vaulted over Trent Oeltjen all of a sudden, but it’s probably inconsequential.

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