Injury Roll Call: Hanley sticking to plan, Puig x-rays negative, Ethier taking it down to the wire

HanleyRamirezBat

The Dodgers will continue to stick to the Hanley Ramirez Injury Mandate as the season winds down.

The Dodgers are sticking to their plan of resting Hanley Ramirez in the final two weeks of the regular season, in hopes of having him ready to play every day in the playoffs. Ramirez is out of the lineup Friday night against the Rockies, but manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez would start on Saturday.

Sunday’s regular season finale, however, is another story.

“On Sunday we’ll see, if he really wants it,” Mattingly said. “He’s just not a guy for me that needs the timing, for any reason. I’ll have him as healthy as he can be through the playoffs.”

Ramirez has battled a dislocated thumb, a strained hamstring, and now an irritated nerve in his back. But when healthy he has been the Dodgers’ best player, hitting .346/.401/.641 with 20 home runs and 25 doubles in 85 games.

Easy choice that most of us likely expected.

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Yasiel Puig left Friday’s game after fouling a couple balls off of his left shin.

Just about everything was going right for the Dodgers on Friday night, but the crowd held its collective breath in the fifth inning when outfielder Yasiel Puig fouled a ball off his left shin. Puig left the game after his at-bat but postgame X-rays on his left shin were negative.

Manager Don Mattingly said after the game that Puig, who was back on the field for postgame handshakes after the Dodgers’ 11-0 win over the Rockies, was fine. Puig could play during the weekend but with the Dodgers locked into the No. 3 seed they literally have nothing to play for the next two days. They could play it cautiously.

“I talked to Yasiel about what he wanted to do. We were just going to see how the body felt [Saturday],” Mattingly said. “He wanted to play the last day [Sunday].”

Puig also fouled a ball off his left shin in the first inning. The score was 10-0 at the time Puig left, so his removal was mostly precautionary. He was iced up for the remainder of the game.

The Dodgers playing it safe with injuries? Refreshing. Doesn’t sound like anything serious that would keep ManBearPuig out of postseason action.

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Andre Ethier met earlier in the week with Dr. ElAttrache for more tests on his injured ankle.

The Dodgers got bad news on Wednesday as outfielder Andre Ethier was sent back to Los Angeles to meet with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache for more tests on his ankle, manager Don Mattingly told reporters before their game against the Giants, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.

Ethier had both an MRI exam and CT scan, which showed his left ankle is improved but not healed, the Dodgers announced during the game. Ethier will be cleared to play once he is able to run the bases without pain.

Mattingly expressed concern that Ethier wouldn’t be available for the NLDS, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. “Yeah, I’m a little worried about him,” Mattingly said, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

Ethier pinch hit on Sunday in San Diego but that is his only game played since Sept. 13. Wednesday night marks the 11th straight game Ethier is out of the starting lineup, dealing with a sore ankle.

If Ethier is unable to play in any of these final five regular season games, the Dodgers will have had four healthy outfielders (Ethier, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig) for all of two games this season (July 5 and July 21), and for a total of 10 innings.

Then he took at-bats in simulated games yesterday, much like Matt Kemp did.

Ethier had 15 at-bats in a simulated game on Friday and ran on an anti-gravity treadmill, Mattingly said.

“We’re basically trying to get him as many at-bats as we can so he can get the timing part without the running part,” Mattingly said before Friday night’s game against the Rockies. “That’s really the main reason for going there, to be able to get 10-15 at-bats a day.”

Those tests led to Andre being cleared by doctors to resume workouts.

Cleared by doctors after Wednesday’s MRI and CT scan, Andre Ethier resumed working out on his injured left ankle with the team on Thursday.

Ethier is able to hit, catch balls in the outfield and throw. Manager Don Mattingly said the club will wait until next week to test Ethier on the bases, and determining his role, if any, in the first round of the playoffs might not be made until the last minute.

Because he won’t be playing in the final three regular-season games, Ethier will maintain his swing in simulated games, Mattingly said.

“It doesn’t mean we’re not moving forward,” Mattingly said. “I’m a little more encouraged today.”

Dre’s status for the NLDS is still in question, which should easily make Scott Van Slyke even more of a lock to make the postseason roster.

Which he should, even with a healthy Dre.

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An in-grown toenail forced Nick Punto out of Friday’s starting lineup.

Nick Punto was scratched from Friday night’s starting lineup with a right in-grown toenail. Dee Gordon will start in his place at shortstop, batting eighth for the Dodgers as they host the Rockies for the first of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

And here I thought he was Mr. Grit. :o

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Chris Capuano, still dealing with a groin issue, took fielding practice on Wednesday.

A day after testing a healing groin muscle in a bullpen session, Dodgers lefty Chris Capuano felt well enough Wednesday for fielding drills.

Manager Don Mattingly said Capuano was fit enough to be available to pitch Thursday, but Mattingly said he would probably wait until Friday to try to use Capuano in relief.

He’d have been a long, long shot to make the postseason roster even without the injury and missed time down the stretch. He did look good today, though, which surely helped his case, especially if they play the Cardinals.

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Jerry Hairston Jr. is dealing with back spasms.

Dodgers utility man Jerry Hairston was unable to work out with the club before Thursday night’s game because of back spasms.

He was already iffy to make the postseason roster, so this could be the nail in his coffin in 2013.

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Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke and find him contributing at Yahoo! Sports.

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