06/24/11 11:03 PM ET
Kuroda continues support for ThinkCure
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
Dodgers may move Furcal to second base
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal is on his way back, and that means manager Don Mattingly has a decision to make.And it's starting to look like that decision might not be the one Mattingly initially thought he'd be making. When the Dodgers called up Dee Gordon three weeks ago to replace the ailing Furcal, Mattingly said he had wished Gordon had gotten more experience in the Minor Leagues before his debut. But Gordon has impressed in his first big league stint, leaving Mattingly questioning if he should move Furcal to second base. Mattingly said Friday that he and general manager Ned Colletti had discussed the prospect of moving Furcal, who hasn't played a game at second with the Dodgers. He has appeared at second base during winter ball and while he was with the Braves in the early part of the 2000s. The switch-hitting Furcal hasn't played since June 3, missing the time with a strained left oblique. He has had problems hitting from the right side since the injury because of the pain. If he ends up moving to second, Furcal said he'd like to spend some time getting accustomed to the position during his rehab assignment. For now, he just wants to get healthy. "I don't think about that right now," Furcal said on Friday. "I plan to get a full practice today and see how I'm feeling, and they'll decide when I go to the Minor Leagues." If all goes well with Friday's batting practice session, Furcal could be with Class A Rancho Cucamonga as soon as Sunday. Mattingly said he hoped to give Furcal plenty of time with his rehab stint. He was on the DL earlier in the season, before returning with an immediate 1-for-22 slump. There was speculation that he was rushed back, and Mattingly said the Dodgers are trying to avoid doing so this time around. But Furcal said that isn't always possible. "You feel ready sometimes, and when you get to the big leagues, everything is different," he said. "You're gonna face a lot of different pitching up here." Furcal said he's been impressed watching Gordon and what his game offers speed-wise, noting how it reminds him of the way he played early in his career. Gordon is hitting .268 with four stolen bases and very good defensive range. Mattingly said Gordon simply hasn't done anything during the last three weeks that would warrant a change. "He's been fine," Mattingly said. "We'll get a chance to see him over the next week or 10 days. Right now, there's no reason. He hasn't done anything wrong. He's done what we thought he could do, and we think he's even gonna get better than that." The biggest concern Mattingly has talked about is how Gordon reacts when opponents adjust to him. Gordon, who has been effective punching the ball to the opposite field, is starting to see more inside fastballs, and Mattingly said that's the first adjustment he'll have to make. "They're trying to pound him in a little bit," Mattingly said. "It's gonna be continual. He'll have to make adjustments to that, either hitting it or leaving it alone, and he just has to go play."
Thames exits early with calf strain
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Marcus Thames left Friday's game against the Angels in the second inning with a strained left calf, limping off after he hit a double off the left-field wall.He is listed as day to day. Thames missed more than a month earlier in the season with a right quad injury. As he left the field, he slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration. Tony Gwynn Jr. came on in Thames' place and will play left field.
Injured Broxton takes rehab breather
LOS ANGELES -- Reliever Jonathan Broxton was back with the Dodgers on Friday after two rehab outings with Triple-A Albuquerque.Manager Don Mattingly said the team planned to give him a couple days off before sending him to Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday. Broxton has been out since early May with a bone bruise in his pitching elbow. Mattingly said he wants to have Broxton pitch in back-to-back games and see how he feels. "We just need to get him back out there, get him in a rhythm, because we want him to be successful when he gets back," Mattingly said. He added that an exact return date is a long way from being set, but next weekend's series in Anaheim could be an early projection. So far in his two rehab outings, Broxton has allowed one run in two innings. In his most recent appearance on Thursday, he struck out the side after giving up a leadoff single. He struggled early in the season, going 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA, but Mattingly said he hopes to have Broxton back in the closer's role -- though he likely will be eased into it.
AJ Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.