07/08/12 1:55 AM ET
Cruz making most of chances with Dodgers
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
Cruz boasted 56 games of experience between 2008-10 prior to the callup but was biding his time until he was given another chance.
Through his first five games with the Dodgers, Cruz has taken advantage of the opportunity, batting 6-for-16 (.375) with three doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored.
"It's impressive, he's looked pretty good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He had a great spring and was killing it at Triple-A. This guy was as confident as you're going to see coming up here."
In 74 games at Triple-A, Cruz batted .318 with eight homers and 46 RBIs. Although the 28-year-old utility infielder doesn't have the same range as some of his counterparts, his arm has more than made up for the difference.
"He's not going to give us a ton of range, but whatever he catches, he's got a cannon," Mattingly said. "I think he's going to be solid. He was a late bloomer where he's kind of just figuring it out now."
Dodgers pleased with Guerra's first outing off DL
PHOENIX -- In his first outing since returning from more than a monthlong stint on the disabled list, Dodgers reliever Javy Guerra tossed a clean seventh inning Friday against the D-backs and left feeling strong.
"He was good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He got out there, which is what we wanted, and pitched a nice inning. He made it look pretty easy."
Guerra had been sidelined since June 3 with right knee inflammation and eventually underwent arthroscopic surgery on June 5. Because the injury wasn't related to his throwing arm, Guerra was able to keep himself sharp on the mound while he rehabbed his knee.
"He had a fairly quick recovery," Mattingly said. "I think it made it easy because he really only missed throwing for six or seven days. He was throwing right away, so I thought that helped."
Once the Dodgers' closer earlier in the season, Guerra entered Saturday with a 3.24 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 25 innings.
Dodgers prepare to face Bauer for first time
PHOENIX -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly doesn't know much about D-backs rookie Trevor Bauer, whom the club will face Sunday. But he does know the pitcher has an unusual way of preparing and working in games.
Earlier this week, Bauer caused a stir when he said he doesn't pitch to hitters' weaknesses, rather to his own strengths.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson responded succinctly by saying, "You live and you learn." Before Saturday's game, Mattingly seemed to agree with his managerial counterpart about young players adapting to the big leagues.
"The game will teach you usually, it's a tough league," Mattingly said. "Guys will figure you out, you'll have to make adjustments. This is an adjustment league. If you can't do that, you can't play here. Have to make adjustments or else guys will figure you out."
Bauer also sparked conversations by telling reporters he doesn't like to throw fastballs down in the zone and instead he wants to elevate them, something most pitchers would hate to do consistently.
"If guys swing at it," Mattingly said, when asked if that sort of approach can work in the Majors. "He's got a good arm, a lot of it has to do with the style of pitcher you are. With power guys, you want them to pitch up in the zone, but obviously you can't just throw balls out of the strike zone and expect guys to swing at this level. You're not going to get guys to consistently swing at that. They'll wear you out and get your pitch count up. You have to throw in the strike zone."
In his first two starts with the D-backs, Bauer has allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits in just 7 1/3 innings.
In his first rehab game for Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday, Matt Kemp went 1-for-5 with a run as the designated hitter.
Kemp, recovering from a left hamstring strain, is scheduled to play again Sunday before moving on to Kansas City for the State Farm Home Run Derby, on Monday at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.
He was 6-for-14 in four games for Class A Rancho Cucamonga before heading to Albuquerque.
Infielder Justin Sellers, on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury, is beginning to participate in baseball activities at the club's Spring Training site in Glendale, Ariz.
"He's doing some work, not really on a schedule," manager Don Mattingly said. "He'll be there a while. He might be until he's ready to go on rehab or whatever."
Infielder Mark Ellis, who was reinstated from the disabled list Wednesday, was not in the lineup Saturday because Mattingly didn't want to play him four consecutive days.
Ellis is 3-for-8 since returning to the team after not playing since May 18 with a leg injury.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.