05/09/2013 2:56 AM ET
Adrian exits early after aggravating neck strain
First baseman says he will be ready for Friday's opener vs. Marlins
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was removed from Wednesday's 3-2 loss against the D-backs after four innings after aggravating his neck strain that has bothered him for a week.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Gonzalez aggravated the injury in the top of the fourth when he attempted to catch a foul popup by D-backs catcher Wil Nieves and dove awkwardly.
Gonzalez stayed in the game and laced an RBI double to right field in the bottom of the inning to give the Dodgers a 2-0 advantage. He moved to third on a single by Andre Ethier. But Gonzalez did not take the field in the top of the fifth.
"It didn't look real good when he came out, it sounds like he aggravated that neck pretty good," Mattingly said. "I'm not sure it's going to be good, but I'm hoping it's not going to be anything long term."
Gonzalez's status is considered day to day, but he vowed to play Friday against the Marlins. The Dodgers are off Thursday.
"I'll be all right," Gonzalez said. "I'll be ready to go Friday."
Gonzalez has been playing with a mild strain in his left trapezius muscle at the base of his neck. He suffered the injury last Wednesday when he collided with first-base umpire Tony Randazzo as he turned to chase a double down the line by Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez.
Juan Uribe moved to first base from third. Luis Cruz came off the bench to play third and replaced Gonzalez in the cleanup spot.
Federowicz recalled as Dodgers option Sellers
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are again carrying three catchers after recalling Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday that he was worried about the lack of a power bat on his bench, and Federowicz should help in that area. The catcher, rated No. 9 among the team's top prospects, was hitting .531 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 13 games with the Isotopes.
"He's swung the bat well," Mattingly said before Wednesday's game against the D-backs. "This is really where he's earned to be."
In a corresponding roster move, the Dodgers optioned infielder Justin Sellers to Triple-A. Sellers, the club's Opening Day shorststop, was hitting .191 with one homer and two RBIs in 26 games.
"We felt like we had plenty of infielders, and really from the standpoint of looking at it more like it's just a little bit better hitting bench, where you can use some guys to hit," Mattingly said.
The manager said Federowicz would back up A.J. Ellis, and veteran Ramon Hernandez would be the No. 3 catcher and an emergency first baseman.
With three catchers, the Dodgers can use either Ellis or Federowicz as a pinch-hitter when the other starts and keep Hernandez on the bench in an emergency role. Hernandez is 1-for-22 (.045) in eight games since being acquired from the Rockies via trade on April 6.
"It's part of the reason for Fed," Mattingly said. "We've always felt like Fed was the guy coming and Fed was the guy who was going to get the at-bats. Ramon gives us that third guy that can play first and really allows us to use all of our people."
Tight hamstring keeps Crawford out of lineup
LOS ANGELES -- Carl Crawford was held out of the Dodgers' lineup Wednesday for the third time in eight days due to tightness in his right hamstring.
Crawford pinch-hit in the ninth inning with Skip Schumaker on second and the Dodgers trailing, 3-2. But he flied out to left to end the game.
Manager Don Mattingly planned to start the left fielder in the series finale against the D-backs but had to shuffle his lineup when trainer Sue Falsone told him Crawford's hamstring was "a little bit tight."
"I had kind of planned on playing him today, but when he comes in and he's a little bit tight, it's better than playing him and he ends up pulling it," Mattingly said Wednesday afternoon. "He's a little bit tender, but I don't know about tender as far as it's felt like something's going on. We're being cautious with the off-day [Thursday]."
Crawford was also held out of the lineup May 1-2 because of a tight hamstring. He started the past four games, going 5-for-20 with a solo homer on Monday.
Mattingly hoped to give right fielder Andre Ethier a day off Wednesday but had to change his plans when Crawford wasn't ready to go. Ethier went 1-for-4.
Dee Gordon replaced Crawford at the top of the lineup and was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Elian Herrera, recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday, started in left field and went 1-for-3.
League remains Dodgers' choice as closer
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are sticking with Brandon League as their closer, although management has considered making a change after League took the loss in each of his past two appearances.
League gave up a two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt in the ninth inning of a tie game in Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the D-backs. The right-hander allowed a walk-off homer to Giants backup catcher Guillermo Quiroz in the 10th inning on Saturday night after pitching a scoreless ninth.
Those outings have prompted manager Don Mattingly to consider swapping League and setup man Kenley Jansen.
"Obviously I can't say I haven't given thought to it," Mattingly said before Wednesday's game against the D-backs. "The games that Brandon has given up runs have been games he wasn't necessarily closing. But Kenley is throwing the ball good. I've given thought to it."
Are the Dodgers close to making a change?
"I'm just still thinking about it," Mattingly said. "We still talk about it and go back and forth. It's like anything else -- all of a sudden we flip it and then we got a mess. Not that we're not in a mess already a little bit. But Brandon is actually throwing the ball OK. He's not walking a bunch of people. In save situations, he's been really good."
League has converted eight of nine save opportunities. His past two outings were not save situations, but League said he has the same mindset each time he takes the mound.
"You have to do your job and hold the score," said League, who signed a three-year, $22.5 million contract in the winter.
League's lone blown save came against the Mets on April 24. He recorded a save the next night, though.
"I don't feel like Brandon has done anything really wrong," Mattingly said. "He gives up the home run to Quiroz and the home run [Tuesday] night. And even the blown save, we feel like if we make plays for him he gets that one. For me right now, I'm going to go with Brandon."
Injured Lilly gets on mound, starts throwing program
LOS ANGELES -- Left-hander Ted Lilly began a throwing program on Wednesday and was back on the mound for the first time since receiving an injection in his right rib cage on April 30.
Lilly, on the 15-day disabled list, played catch in the outfield and threw off a mound at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, although it was not a bullpen session.
"We'll see what that does for him," manager Don Mattingly said before Wednesday's game against the D-backs.
While Lilly is able to throw again, right-hander Stephen Fife has yet to resume throwing due to right shoulder bursitis that has kept him on the disabled list since April 26.
Zack Greinke is also on the disabled list and is nearing a rehab assignment. But the Dodgers have yet to place a timetable on when Greinke will make a start in the Minor Leagues. He threw a bullpen session Tuesday, but his broken left collarbone is still healing.
"It's still going in the right direction," Mattingly said. "We haven't had any setbacks with him. It's really more holding him back a little bit."
Mark Ellis is the closest of the nine Dodgers players on the disabled list to beginning a rehab assignment. Mattingly said the second baseman would begin his rehab assignment "pretty soon." The veteran is nursing a strained right quad that has sidelined him since April 26.
Honorary bat girl selected for Mother's Day game
LOS ANGELES -- Sara Aguilera, a mother of two who is battling breast cancer, will be the honorary bat girl on Sunday when the Dodgers host the Marlins on Mother's Day.
All 30 Major League clubs will have an honorary bat girl, chosen by fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com along with the help of a panel that included Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, Yankees starter CC Sabathia, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, Royals third baseman Alex Gordon, Maria Menounos of Extra TV and Sam Ryan, MLB Newtwork host and reporter.
Aguilera will be honored before Sunday's game and participate in pregame ceremonies. She will also receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game.
Less than a year after her diagnosis, Aguilera founded an organization to spread awareness about breast cancer and raise money for those affected by it.
In celebration of Mother's Day, players will show their support by wearing the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Some players will use pink bats. The dugout lineup cards will also be pink.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.