5/5/2013 2:05 A.M. ET
Injuries force Dodgers to bring up Gordon
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers badly wanted Dee Gordon to spend this season in the Minor Leagues and rehab his game after a wasted, injury-plagued 2012. But when the facts changed, the club changed its mind.
So Hanley Ramirez's second major injury this season, compounding an epidemic of ailments, plus the offense's inability to score runs prompted management to try Plan B on Saturday by recalling Gordon from Triple-A Albuquerque to replace Ramirez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring suffered Friday night.
Mattingly indicated that Plan B could have another component if Gordon is successful -- finally allowing Ramirez to move to third base when he's healthy.
"Sure, I could go with that," Mattingly said. "I could see that. If a guy's doing well, we'll try to find a place for him.
"We wanted Dee to get a full year to work on his game and then be part of what we're doing. But now guys have gotten hurt and this is where we go. It's out of need that he's here. I don't want that to sound bad. He was down more about maturity, offense and defense and when to run. But we had to bring in an infielder with what's going on here and it's him right now."
Mattingly conceded that if Luis Cruz were hitting more than .098, the club might not have turned to Gordon.
Gordon started Saturday night batting eighth, with Mattingly saying he wants to keep Carl Crawford in the leadoff spot because he possesses the power, along with the resume, that Gordon lacks. Gordon has shown an improved eye at the plate this year, although his defense remains erratic.
He was hitting .314 in 25 games with 19 runs, 14 steals, 14 walks and a .397 on-base percentage, but also had committed eight errors.
He was told of the callup Friday night, saying he was "ready to play the way I play, to play hard and help the Dodgers win."
He also said the recent Twitter and Internet reports of him taking ground balls at second base were completely misguided.
"I was helping a guy who got tired, just spelling him on about 10 balls, and then I get in trouble for it," Gordon said, apparently scolded by management for even taking grounders at the position. "I'll never take ground balls there again."
Justin Sellers, who took over shortstop after Ramirez needed thumb surgery in late March, is on the bench for now, although Mattingly said he wouldn't hesitate using him. When Ramirez hurt his thumb, Mattingly said he turned to Sellers for his defense.
Hairston says groin tweak a 'non-issue'
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jerry Hairston, starting at first base Saturday night in place of the injured Adrian Gonzalez, was removed in the fifth inning in a double-switch, although he confirmed he "felt a little bit of a tweak in the groin" to explain why he was limping while scoring on Matt Kemp's two-run single.
With the Dodgers batting around, Hairston came up a second time in the frame and struck out to end the inning, then was removed as manager Don Mattingly put Luis Cruz at first base for the first time in his Major League career and moved pinch-hitter Nick Punto to third base, replacing Juan Uribe.
"I felt fine and could have stayed in the game. It was very minor," Hairston said. "It was just a natural double-switch but I could have played. It's really a non-issue. I hit the bag funny rounding third and I just wanted to make sure I didn't overextend."
Mattingly said he was told that Hairston was OK, "but I'm not sure what that means. We'll see tomorrow."
Hairston was already playing slightly hurt, having received stitches in his right eyebrow after a fall in his hotel room after Friday night's 2-1 loss to the Giants.
"I wish I had a really good story," he said. "I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, tripped on a bag and hit my head on a desk. I was hoping I was dreaming; I found out I wasn't. A lot of guys gave me grief. I guess my face has character. In the past month I wanted to pick a fight [suspended one game for his part in a brawl] and a desk finally beat me up."
Hairston also was hit by a Ryan Vogelsong pitch on the left forearm, but said it was OK.
In addition to Gonzalez's neck injury, the Dodgers lost Hanley Ramirez to a hamstring strain Friday night and have been playing for a week without Mark Ellis, who has a strained quad.
Neck better, but Adrian again scratched by Dodgers
SAN FRANCISCO -- Adrian Gonzalez was a late scratch for the second consecutive Dodgers game Saturday night with a stiff neck and was again replaced by Jerry Hairston.
Gonzalez walked around the clubhouse before batting practice in a cervical brace. He was in the starting lineup for Saturday night's Dodgers-Giants game, took the field for batting practice and was by the batting cage, but never hit.
"I told him I'd rather have him miss a couple games than do something that puts him in the other direction," manager Don Mattingly said before batting practice started. "He's feeling good enough, but he's not over the hump."
Gonzalez was injured when he collided with first-base umpire Tony Randazzo on Wednesday night turning to chase Carlos Gonzalez's double down the right-field line in the eighth inning, although he stayed in the game.
Mattingly also said recent developments had not changed the decision making on Mark Ellis, who hasn't played since straining a right quad muscle a week ago. Mattingly said Ellis will be able to play at 100 percent by Monday or will go on the disabled list.
And in one more medical report, Hairston needed stitches to close a cut on his right eyebrow he said he received in a hotel mishap Friday night after the game, but he provided no further details.
Recovering quickly, Greinke throws 'pen session
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke, who is on the 15-day disabled list, is two to three weeks ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken collarbone after throwing a full bullpen session Saturday at AT&T Park, exactly three weeks after surgery.
Greinke was originally told he would miss eight weeks after undergoing an operation on April 13 to repair the fracture suffered two days earlier in a fracas in San Diego.
"I'm feeling pretty good for the amount of time since the injury," said Greinke.
He threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Thursday without really letting loose, but upped it to a full 60 pitches Saturday, throwing all of his pitches at nearly full speed and saying he could have done more.
He was watched by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, manager Don Mattingly and medical director Stan Conte, who monitored how hard Greinke was throwing.
Midway through, Mattingly stood in the batter's box and Greinke worked on hitting different locations.
"A little bit," Mattingly said when asked if Greinke's progress was surprising. "We still have boxes to cross off, but he's doing really well. He's along the lines of Hanley [Ramirez's quick recovery from thumb surgery]. It seems like he's ahead of schedule three weeks out, but I don't know how far away he is."
Teammates Chris Capuano, A.J. Ellis and Clayton Kershaw also were interested observers as Greinke showed no discomfort from the injury.
The right-hander was injured when he lowered his shoulder into an onrushing Carlos Quentin, who charged the mound. Quentin had been hit by a Greinke pitch for the third time in his career.
Quentin took a few steps and stopped. At that point Greinke reportedly said, "Save it," and Quentin bull-rushed the pitcher. Quentin was suspended for eight games and later said he spoke with Greinke about the incident, but Greinke had no comment about their conversation.
Dodgers set to introduce Play Zone at Stadium
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Dodger Stadium on Monday at 5:30 p.m. PT to mark the opening of the new Play Zone presented by Children's Hospital Los Angeles, located on the third-base side of the Reserve Level.
The Play Zone is one of the many new enhancements made to Dodger Stadium during the offseason and will offer fans an in-stadium area in which their children can play during games. The Play Zone features life-size bobbleheads and a scoreboard.
"The Dodgers are thrilled to have Children's Hospital Los Angeles as a partner for the 3rd Base Play Zone," said Michael Young, Dodgers Senior VP of corporate partnerships. "The Play Zone is one of the cornerstone elements of our stadium renovations to further enhance the family-friendly atmosphere at Dodger Stadium."
Children's Hospital Los Angeles will also be the presenting sponsor of the Dodgers Foundation Youth Camp, which will have its first session from June 25-28 and a second session from Aug. 12-14. CHLA will also provide 20 scholarships for underprivileged children so they can attend the camp, which is for ages seven through 12. Parents interested in signing their children up for camp can visit www.dodgers.com/camp.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.