6/12/2013 3:17 A.M. ET
Mattingly pulls the plug on League as closer
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Kenley Jansen is the new Dodgers closer.
Manager Don Mattingly made the change Tuesday, one day after Brandon League blew his fourth save. League entered Monday's game in the ninth inning with the Dodgers leading the D-backs, 3-1, but allowed four runs and took the loss.
Mattingly said the club has been talking about making a change at closer for "about a week."
Jansen has converted two of three save chances this season, with a 2.53 ERA through 32 appearances. League has a 6.00 ERA, the highest among the Dodgers' active pitchers.
"You really would like a settling feeling when you get to that ninth inning. You would like to know the game is over," Mattingly said. "Losses like last night really hurt you."
Jansen had primarily pitched the eighth inning. Now Mattingly must find a way to get the right-hander the ball in the ninth with a lead. "I don't know that it works better this way," the manager said. "I wish I could say we had the sixth through the ninth covered. We'll just try to piece it together as best we can."
League will have a new role, though Mattingly said he's not quite sure what it will be.
"He wants to do whatever to help the team to win games," Mattingly said. "He's versatile. He's pitched everywhere out of the 'pen. We'll try to get him going. We're going to need him."
Puig hit in head, stays in game, then ejected
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig pulled up with a leg cramp in the second inning and was hit on the nose by a 92 mph fastball from D-backs starter Ian Kennedy in the sixth, but the only thing that took the Dodgers outfielder out of Tuesday's game was his ejection following a benches-clearing incident in the seventh.
It started in the bottom of the sixth, when Kennedy's pitch grazed Puig's nose. The Cuban fell to the ground and remained there for a few minutes as Dodgers head athletic trainer Sue Falsone and assistant athletic trainer Greg Harrel checked on him. Puig did not suffer a broken nose or a concussion.
"It was scary," catcher Tim Federowicz said after the Dodgers rallied to win, 5-3. "That was unbelievable. The more you think about it, we knew at some point someone was going to try to knock him down, but not hit him in the face. They say it wasn't intentional, but when you hit a guy in the face we take it personally."
Puig, who left Dodger Stadium before speaking to reporters, took his base and Andre Ethier followed with a two-run homer to right to tie the game at 2.
The D-backs said Kennedy wasn't trying to hit Puig.
"Who's going to think we had intentions there?" Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said. "He was trying to go in on him and unfortunately we hit him. If we were trying to hit him, I wouldn't be going down there to help him and call the trainers. Seriously? We know it's tough. He's playing pretty good. We weren't trying to hit anybody."
In the top of the seventh, Dodgers starter Zack Greinke hit Montero in the back leading off, prompting both dugouts and bullpens to empty before the game resumed.
Kennedy returned the favor in the Dodgers' half of the inning, hitting Greinke in the helmet with a pitch. Both benches and bullpens emptied onto the field a second time and a skirmish unfolded near the Arizona dugout, with Puig among those at the epicenter.
Puig was ejected, along with Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire, Los Angeles reliever Ronald Belisario, Kennedy, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson and D-backs assistant hitting coach Turner Ward.
In the second inning, Puig felt a cramp in his leg by the time he reached the bag and strolled gingerly back to the dugout. He retreated into the Dodgers' clubhouse, accompanied by Falsone.
Puig emerged from the clubhouse and jogged out to right field for the top of the third. He tracked a fly ball down the right-field line and made the catch in foul territory. Puig went back to the clubhouse after the inning, though he was able to stay in the game.
Puig went 0-for-2 to drop his average to .471 through nine games, and his ejection is likely to result in a suspension.
Van Slyke to DL as Withrow, Castellanos called up
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers promoted reliever Chris Withrow and outfielder Alex Castellanos from Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday, placing Scott Van Slyke on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder bursitis and optioning infielder Justin Sellers.
Withrow provides a fresh arm to a bullpen that is under siege after Brandon League blew a save Monday night. For that game, Ronald Belisario was unavailable after pitching 2 1/3 innings on Sunday. Belisario is dealing with soreness in his right collarbone, and manager Don Mattingly said he would try to avoid using the right-hander again on Tuesday against the D-backs.
Castellanos provides depth to the outfield, where the Dodgers are playing without the injured trio of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Van Slyke, all on the DL.
Van Slyke had been playing through worsening discomfort that originated from an attempted diving catch of a double hit by the Cardinals' Yadier Molina on May 25. At the time, Van Slyke described the injury as similar to whiplash.
He missed only one start after the play and until Monday had started every game in left field since Crawford strained a hamstring June 1. He homered as recently as five days ago, but is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and Mattingly said he noticed Van Slyke appeared stiff while batting Sunday.
"I started cutting my swing off and being careful at the plate because I didn't want it to get any worse," Van Slyke said. "It was limiting how hard I could swing."
Van Slyke's is the club's 20th disabled-list injury this season. Sellers had been recalled only Monday when Matt Magill was sent back to Albuquerque.
The short-handed Dodgers also are carrying, but not playing, shortstop Hanley Ramirez and his lingering hamstring issue.
The 24-year-old Withrow was 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings for the Isotopes. He also has issued 12 walks, but only one run and one walk in his last six outings. He's also allowed no home runs and is fresh because he hasn't pitched since Friday night.
"He's a got a big arm and we'll try to get him in the mix and see where he fits," Mattingly said.
Withrow missed most of Spring Training with back spasms from a bulging disk that has plagued him throughout his professional career. He was selected in the first round of the 2007 Draft and pitched only 13 innings in his first two pro seasons as he had to overcome arm injuries and the yips. He made the transition from starter to reliever during the 2012 season.
The 26-year-old Castellanos had been on fire offensively lately for the Isotopes, with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 43 games.
Ellis plays in first rehab game, but Kemp not ready
LOS ANGELES -- Injured Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp needs to run without discomfort from a strained right hamstring before he can begin a Minor League rehab assignment, but catcher A.J. Ellis began his rehab assignment on Tuesday and left-hander Chris Capuano won't be far behind.
Kemp took batting practice early at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, but will need to run the bases before he's ready to play in rehab games. Kemp tested his hamstring on Monday but experienced discomfort as he increased the intensity of his workout.
"He's still feeling some stuff in his leg, so it's a matter of time," manager Don Mattingly said.
Kemp hasn't played since he stained his hamstring on May 29 in Anaheim. He is on the disabled list, as are Ellis and Capuano.
Ellis, on the DL since May 30 with a slight left oblique strain, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the designated hitter on Tuesday in his first rehab game for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Ellis is scheduled to start with the Quakes as the designated hitter again on Wednesday.
Ellis is expected to be activated from the DL when eligible, for Friday night's game in Pittsburgh.
Capuano, out since May 30 with a left lat strain, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday. He's scheduled to start with Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. The Dodgers plan to activate the left-hander June 19 to start vs. the Yankees in New York.
• Hanley Ramirez was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game on Tuesday as the Dodgers continue to be cautious with the shortstop's bothersome left hamstring. Ramirez took batting practice and fielded ground balls, but will need to run on Wednesday to test his hamstring before the club is comfortable using him.
"Hanley is feeling good, we're going to run him tomorrow and see where he's at," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's moving forward."
• Starter Ted Lilly had an epidural injection in his neck on Tuesday morning. The veteran left-hander has been bothered by a chronic neck disk issue for much of the season and went on the disabled list on June 5.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.