4/25/2013 6:23 P.M. ET
Mattingly to 'mix and match' at hot corner
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Juan Uribe started at third base for the Dodgers Thursday, back in the rotation after three games of Jerry Hairston. And Nick Punto has started there twice, all because Luis Cruz is hitting .087.
"It's hard to say it belongs to anybody," manager Don Mattingly said of third base. "I'll keep trying to match up numbers the best I can. The bright side is they all catch the ball. For me, it's mix and match."
After a breakthrough second half last year, following a career in the Minor Leagues, the position was Cruz's to lose, and he's pretty much lost it.
"He definitely got the first shot," Mattingly said of Cruz. "We're 20 games in, and I'm not going to totally forget about him. He's capable of swinging the bat well, but it's been a battle. If he was hitting bullets but not getting hits, you'd say it's coming. But we're not seeing a lot of balls squared up."
Mattingly said Cruz is "working on stuff" in the batting cage to get his swing better "so I can get him back in there."
"He's got to get confidence and we'll move forward from there," he said.
The Dodgers are 6-3 with Cruz starting at third base, 1-5 with Uribe, 0-2 with Punto and 2-1 with Hairston.
Tolleson to have back surgery, miss 3-5 months
NEW YORK -- Dodgers reliever Shawn Tolleson was scheduled to undergo surgery for a herniated disk in his lower back Thursday. He will be out three to five months.
Tolleson made one appearance after being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque following Zack Greinke's broken collarbone. He walked both batters he faced and was put on the disabled list two days later.
Tolleson actually sustained the injury in January, and believes it flared up between an April 11 save for Albuquerque and his April 12 appearance for the Dodgers. In between, the Isotopes flew to Omaha and took a bus to Iowa, then he flew to Dallas en route to Phoenix.
"From all of that, it got tight," Tolleson said. "After I pitched Friday night, it got really bad."
Billingsley undergoes Tommy John surgery
NEW YORK -- The Tommy John surgery performed on Chad Billingsley's right elbow Wednesday night went as expected, and he could be sidelined for a year.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the operation after Billingsley complained of pain following his second start of the season.
Billingsley, who was originally injured last August, had attempted to avoid the surgery by taking platelet-rich plasma injections.
Hanley to Class A for rehab, but unsure when
NEW YORK -- Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez tweeted Thursday morning where he expects to serve an injury rehab assignment, but not when.
"Rancho coming soon!!!" tweeted Ramirez, an indication that he'll be headed to Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
But after the Dodgers' win against the Mets, Ramirez showed a surgically repaired thumb that is still healing and sensitive. He said he didn't know when he would be ready to play in a game, but it didn't sound like it would be as early as Friday.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he didn't know of a firm date to start the rehab either.
That said, Ramirez's recovery from surgery for a torn right thumb ligament has gone well. Mattingly said Ramirez was still having some discomfort with the splint that is taped to the thumb, but he's not prevented from doing any baseball activity and has been hitting for 10 days.
Ramirez had said he hoped to be back in action for the Dodgers by Tuesday, because that's his Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.