LOS ANGELES--The Dodgers, having optioned pitcher Matt Magill to Triple-A Albuquerque after Sunday's game, on Monday recalled infielder Justin Sellers.
Sellers provides Don Mattingly with a healthy body on the bench after having managed the past four games shorthanded because of the continued hamstring problems for shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who was out of the Dodgers lineup Monday night for the fifth consecutive game.
Why did the Dodgers recall Sellers instead of shortstop Dee Gordon?
"I wouldn't be up to speed to that, honestly," manager Don Mattingly said. "They kind of let me know who was coming."
Sellers surprisingly was the Opening Day starting shortstop -- with Ramirez on the disabled list after thumb surgery -- but hit .191 and was sent back to Albuquerque on May 8. Since then, he has hit .337 for the Isotopes in 24 games.
Gordon started at second base with Albuquerque for the first time on Saturday. He did not play on Sunday and started at short with the Isotopes on Monday.
Magill made two spot starts in the last week, walking a total of 15 in 9 2/3 innings. In six starts for the Dodgers, he has 28 walks in 27 2/3 innings.
Chris Capuano, currently disabled with a strained lat muscle, is expected to reclaim the fifth starting spot when it's needed on the next trip.
Hanley, Kemp continue to rest ailing hamstrings
LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez was out of the lineup for a fifth straight game on Monday and might not start until Friday as the Dodgers hope to keep the shortstop from aggravating a troublesome left hamstring.
Ramirez had an MRI exam on his ailing hamstring Sunday, but the Dodgers said it did not show any damage. Ramirez missed 28 games with a strained left hamstring before he was activated on Tuesday. He played two games at shortstop but has not started since Wednesday.
"It's just a little fluid from my hamstring going down behind my knee," Ramirez said before Monday's series opener against the D-backs. "It's right behind my knee. The hamstring is good. I just have to get the swelling to go down."
Ramirez predicted he would be back in the lineup in two days.
"We're learning not to listen to Hanley," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, half-joking. "He's getting better. We want him to completely get better."
Mattingly said he would try to avoid using Ramirez as a pinch-hitter on Monday.
The Dodgers recalled infielder Justin Sellers from Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday to give Mattingly another option to help fill the void until Ramirez is ready.
"We're feeling like if we can buy a little time, Hanley is going to be back without having to go on the DL again," the manager said. "This is not another 15 days. It may be four or five."
Matt Kemp, meanwhile, is dealing with a hamstring issue of his own. The outfielder tested his strained right hamstring on Sunday but felt discomfort as he increased the intensity of his workout at Dodger Stadium.
"As they really started pushing to the red line he felt a little something, so it tells us we're really close with him," Mattingly said. "It's just going to take another couple of days."
Kemp will rehab with the club through the end of a homestand that ends Wednesday. After that, Kemp will likely go on a Minor League rehab assignment, though the club did not specify where or for how long. The Dodgers hope to have Kemp back at some point next week.
Capuano, A.J. Ellis nearing rehab assignments
LOS ANGELES -- Disabled Dodgers pitcher Chris Capuano is aiming for a Minor League rehab start Friday for Triple-A Albuquerque, and disabled catcher A.J. Ellis could appear in one for Class A Rancho Cucamonga as soon as Tuesday night.
Capuano, out since May 30 with a left lat strain, plans to throw a bullpen session Tuesday, start for the Isotopes on Friday and be ready to start for the Dodgers next Wednesday night in New York against the Yankees.
He would replace Matt Magill, who was returned to Albuquerque after Sunday's 3 2/3-inning losing start against the Braves. Because of days off Thursday and next Monday, the Dodgers don't need a fifth starter until June 19.
Ellis, on the disabled list since May 30 with a slight oblique strain, worked out before Monday's game. He is eligible to be activated Friday, when the Dodgers open a three-game series in Pittsburgh.
Van Slyke scratched; Belisario likely unavailable
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke was scratched from the original lineup Monday with a recurrence of neck and shoulder stiffness, while reliever Ronald Belisario is expected to be unavailable for the series opener with Arizona because he tightened up after pitching 2 1/3 innings Sunday.
Van Slyke has been playing through worsening discomfort that originated from an attempted diving catch of Yadier Molina's double on May 25. At the time, Van Slyke described the injury as similar to whiplash.
He missed only one start after the play and has started every game in left field since Carl Crawford strained a hamstring June 1. He homered as recently as five days ago but is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and manager Don Mattingly said he noticed Van Slyke appeared stiff while batting Sunday.
Jerry Hairston started in left field Monday night.
Meanwhile, Belisario stretched with the pitchers early Monday but retreated to the trainer's room for treatment instead of playing catch and shagging with the other pitchers. Belisario made his longest appearance Sunday since throwing three innings July 5, 2010, taking over for Matt Magill, who lasted only 3 2/3 innings. Matt Guerrier and Peter Moylan pitched Saturday and Sunday, but late-inning reliever Brandon League and Kenley Jansen have not pitched since Friday.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.