Injury Roll Call: Kemp looking at DL minimum, Hanley few games away, Beckett’s future in doubt

MattKempHamstring

It’s been a tough week for Matt Kemp, injury-wise. First, he was hit on the right elbow by a pitch and had to be removed later in that game due to numbness.

For the second time in four days, Matt Kemp was replaced by Skip Schumaker in center field during the game. But on Tuesday against the Angels, the ninth inning move happened because Kemp felt numbness after he was hit by a pitch on his right elbow in the second inning.

“He came to me in like the seventh. He got hit on the elbow. Something was going on with his fingers, and he didn’t feel like he could throw,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He basically said, ‘I don’t want to screw this up. I can’t really throw the ball, but I feel good swinging.’”

Both Mattingly and Kemp downplayed the injury. Mattingly said he expects Kemp to play on Wednesday and didn’t expect Kemp to need an MRI, saying, “I hope it’s nothing that gets to that.”

Kemp reported that he couldn’t grip the ball and throw it, which is quite scary.

He did return later in the week, only to suffer a mild strain of his hamstring and leave that game early. It was the opposite hamstring that he injured last season, and Kemp underwent an MRI on Thursday.

Following the MRI, the Dodgers did the smart thing and decided to play it safe by placing Kemp on the 15-day DL.

Fortunately though, it does seem like he’s looking at the minimum time.

“We feel he’s going to be ready in close to two weeks,” Mattingly said of Kemp, who missed two months last year with a hamstring strain on his other leg.

Unlike what some are saying, I doubt playing a week or so of rehab games is going to fix his mechanics, but he does get a mental break.

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Hanley Ramirez‘s rehab assignment was pushed back to Friday, as he looks to return from a hamstring injury.

Ramirez, on the disabled list due to a strained left hamstring, will join the Quakes on Friday for the second game of a four-game series at Bakersfield.

Ramirez hoped to begin his rehab on Thursday, but the Dodgers pushed it back to Friday following his workout at Angel Stadium on Wednesday, though the club said he did not suffer a setback.

Ramirez tweeted: “All is well, but I’ll be in Bakersfield on Friday. We decided to push it back one more day #dodgerblue #cantwait.”

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez needs to play around four rehab games, which would put him on track to be activated during a three-game series against the Padres at Dodger Stadium that begins on Monday.

“I’ve got to test [the hamstring] out and see how it feels,” Ramirez said Wednesday before the Dodgers’ game against the Angels.

He played in the game, seemingly without issue, but he wants to see how he recovers the day after.

“I’m tired but I feel good,” Ramirez said. “There wasn’t any pain or nothing like that. I couldn’t get on base but let’s see tomorrow.”

Besides the injury, I wonder if all this time off will affect his performance at the plate any. It’s been months since he’s gotten regular at-bats against quality pitching.

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Josh Beckett is scheduled to see a nerve specialist on Monday.

Injured Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett will see a nerve specialist on Monday, the next step in determining the cause of the numbing sensation in his fingers.

Beckett is scheduled to visit Dr. Gregory Pearl in Dallas, Texas, the same surgeon who operated on Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter’s right shoulder last season.

Beckett, on the disabled list with a left groin strain, had his throwing program shut down last week after the numbness in his fingers continued during a bullpen session.

“The frustrating thing that I’m having right now is I don’t have pain, I just have ineffectiveness and numbness where I can’t actually feel the baseball,” Beckett said on Thursday.

Beckett is 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts this season. He said he continued to pitch despite the lingering issue because the Dodgers were short on starters earlier in the season after losing Chad Billingsley for the year and dealing with Zack Greinke’s broken left collarbone.

“It’s something I’ve been dealing with,” Beckett said of the numbness in his right fingers. “I’m not sure exactly when it came on. It wasn’t painful. At the time we were losing starters left and right, so I felt like I needed to pitch because I didn’t have any pain.”

Once again, pitching or playing hurt to help the team is admirable in theory, but costly in reality on so many levels.

Beckett fears he may have to retire due to the continued numbness in his fingers.

“Any time something like that happens to your arm or you start losing feeling and stuff . . . you think about [retirement] for sure,” Beckett, who is on the disabled list after four to five weeks of numbness in the fingers on his right hand, told the Times. “I don’t really want to think like that right now. I want to think about figuring out a way to deal with this.”

Scary, scary stuff.

Would be a rather sad ending to his career, but I hope he was just in the moment.

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A.J. Ellis, following a tough week of his own, is now dealing with an oblique injury.

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis is dealing with an issue in his left oblique, manager Don Mattingly said on Thursday.

Ellis was held out of the lineup for Thursday’s Freeway Series finale against the Angels.

“We feel like it’s a day or two days,” Mattingly said on Thursday afternoon. “We’ll see how that goes.”

Could Ellis require a stint on the disabled list?

“If this thing would go the wrong direction, it would be [a DL situation],” Mattingly said.

Oblique issues are always worrisome because they’re unpredictable and generally take time to heal. A.J. being okay is more important than it should be, as his backups are Ramon Hernandez and Tim Federowicz.

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Hyun Jin Ryu had x-rays on his left foot, which came back negative.

The Dodgers expect left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu to make his scheduled start on Sunday after taking a line drive off the top of his left foot during his shutout of the Angels on Tuesday.

X-rays on Ryu’s left foot were negative. He had his foot in a bucket of ice Wednesday afternoon in the visiting clubhouse at Angel Stadium.

“Obviously he’s a little bit sore,” manager Don Mattingly said before Wednesday’s game against the Angels. “I think he’s going to be fine. We expect him to be ready by his next start [on Sunday in Colorado].”

It’s honestly getting to the point now where anytime there’s any type of physical collision, we expect the 60-day DL.

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Nick Punto suffered a bone bruise in his back after falling awkwardly near second base on a play in the field.

It seems fitting that in a year when the Dodgers have suffered so many injuries, two innings after they optioned Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque their depth at shortstop became immediately tested. Nick Punto collided with a sliding Erick Aybar for the final out of the second inning in the Dodgers’ 8-7 win over the Angels on Monday, and landed squarely on his back.

Punto suffered a bone bruise in his back, though it’s not something he considers serious.

“As the game was going on it felt alright. As long I kemp moving, it felt okay. We’ll just see how it feels,” Punto said. “I’m sure it’s just a bruise, but we’ll see.”

Punto remained in the game until after the fifth inning, when he was double-switched out of the game.

“It was just getting stiffer and stiffer as the game went on,” manager Don Mattingly said of Punto’s back.

He’s actually been solid filling in this season, so any long-term issue here would hurt the club, although he’s not going to keep hitting at the level he has thus far, unless you expect a .402 BABIP to stick with him.

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Jerry Hairston Jr. was activated from the DL, while Scott Elbert was retroactively moved to the 60-day DL as he continues to rehab and work his way back.

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Stephen Fife threw a simulated game and is scheduled to throw another as he works his way back from right shoulder bursitis.

Stephen Fife has had a slow recovery from right shoulder bursitis, but was able to throw one simulated game already. Mattingly said Fife will throw another simulated game of approximately 70 pitches at some point this week. Fife last pitched for the Dodgers on Apr. 21.

Should be interesting to see whether it’s him or Matt Magill that gets the first call should a pitcher go down. Either way, better to have both than one or the other.

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Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke.

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