Torre resists temptation to start Ethier
Dodgers outfielder remains limited by sore left ankle
MIAMI -- Manager Joe Torre said he won't start Andre Ethier until Tuesday's home opener, although only after fighting the temptation to start him Saturday night because of his past success against Marlins starter Josh Johnson.Ethier missed his third game with a sprained left ankle suffered in Pittsburgh. But before filling out the lineup, Torre watched Ethier in agility drills, running the bases and batting in the cage. When the lineup was finally posted 20 minutes before batting practice, it had Garret Anderson starting in right field. "He's close," Torre said about Ethier. "He may be a player off the bench tonight as a pinch-hitter. I won't start him tomorrow. With the off-day Monday, it's just too tempting not to use him." Ethier said the ankle was a little stiff rounding first base, but he was more concerned with how it would react to the demands of running down balls and changing direction in the outfield, which he tried for the first time since the injury during batting practice Saturday night and seemed to handle without much trouble. Ethier did indeed come off the bench in Saturday's 7-6 loss, delivering a go-ahead pinch-hit single in the eighth inning before giving way to a pinch-runner. Torre said he will stick to his plan of resting Manny Ramirez on Sunday, but with Ethier out of the lineup, hedged on whether he would also give third baseman Casey Blake the day off, as he previously indicated he would. Blake had Thursday off and Monday is a scheduled day off. "I'll wait until [Saturday night's] game is over to decide," Torre said.
Blake on ice after Saturday's game
MIAMI -- Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake, who had three hits and a walk Saturday night, was icing his back and thigh after the game, but said he would be able to play Sunday.
Blake said he had not been told by manager Joe Torre if he would be in the lineup. Torre has said he wants to rest Blake in day games after night games, but hedged on Blake's status before Saturday night's game.
Dodgers add Ellis from Albuquerque
MIAMI -- A.J. Ellis caught all of one game for Triple-A Albuquerque before getting called up Friday night, awoke at 4 a.m. Saturday, caught a 6 a.m. flight out of Oklahoma City and was in uniform and on the field in Miami by 3 p.m. to catch Clayton Kershaw's bullpen session.Sunday, he spells Russell Martin and gets the challenging assignment of catching knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. "I caught him last year in Albuquerque and a couple of his relief appearances this spring," said Ellis, who has had brief callups the past two seasons. "I don't think you ever get used to it. You try to be as comfortable as possible. I'll use Charlie's mitt. He carries his own mitt. It's a fun challenge. I enjoy it." Ellis said he'll benefit from the significant playing time he got this Spring Training while Martin was healing from a strained groin muscle. "I was excited about the way the spring ended and the way I played," said Ellis, who hit .278. "Any time you get innings in Major League games it's important, Spring Training included. You earn the manager's and your teammates' trust. "At the same time, I was excited about working with the young pitchers at Albuquerque. I caught James McDonald's five strong innings in the first game. Scott Elbert really pitched well last night. I'll be curious to see how Josh Lindblom pitches tonight." Manager Joe Torre said he does not want to have a designated catcher for Haeger. "You wind up in a jam and the other guy, it's foreign to him. I don't want that to be the case," Torre said. "It's not necessary to have one guy."
DeWitt still adjusting to second base
MIAMI -- Blake DeWitt, who was unable to catch a popup at second base in the second inning, was replaced by Jamey Carroll for defensive purposes in the seventh inning of Friday night's game."You don't want it to happen, but there's work to be done," DeWitt said. "I just need more games under my belt to get more comfortable. Whatever helps the team win, I'm all for it. I just have to keep working hard and getting better." DeWitt, a shortstop in high school, played mostly third base in the Minor Leagues and broke into the Major Leagues as a third baseman in 2008, before ending the season as Jeff Kent's replacement at second. He underwent an intensive tutorial on the subtleties of second base over the winter and throughout Spring Training, but he still is rough around the edges. "On the popup, it went further than I thought," he said. "On some ground balls, sometimes I try to cover too much ground. It's a fairly new position and sometimes I need to understand that if I'm playing one way or the other, I can't get to everything and force plays. Sometimes I try to do too much."
Dodgers legend drops by clubhouse
Former Dodgers All-Star and World Series tri-MVP Pedro Guerrero has been a clubhouse visitor this weekend. Guerrero, who played for Dodgers manager Joe Torre in St. Louis, remains close with Dodgers first-base coach Mariano Duncan and has homes in Miami and the Dominican Republic.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.