7/12/2013 11:46 P.M. ET
Hanley's hot bat forces opponents to avoid him
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is locked in at the plate, and opponents are well aware.
The Rockies intentionally walked Ramirez twice in Thursday's 6-1 win, and the Dodgers believe the trend will continue. Colorado avoided Ramirez in the opener in favor of rookie Scott Van Slyke, who bounced into a double play in the third inning and struck out in the eighth. Andre Ethier hit behind Ramirez on Friday.
"As long as he's swinging the bat like this, it's not going to stop," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We're going to have to be productive around him. He's that kind of guy. He's really tough to get out."
Among players with at least 100 at-bats entering Friday, Ramirez leads the Major Leagues with a .402 average, .458 on-base percentage and a .726 slugging percentage. He's hitting .467 with runners in scoring position and .451 against right-handed pitching. Ramirez has 47 hits in 36 games, including 20 for extra bases.
"When he's hot like he is right now, it's scary," said newly acquired starter Ricky Nolasco, who played with Ramirez for the Marlins. "He's a game changer. When he's going like he is now, it's impressive to watch. I've seen it before."
Puig tries to play through hip pain, but exits after four
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig tried to play through a sore left hip Friday against the Rockies, but was removed after four innings.
"It was bothering me a little bit," Puig said through a translator after the Dodgers lost, 3-0.
Puig did enough before the game to convince management that he could play, but jogged to first base with a noticeable limp after grounding out in each of his two at-bats.
"I'd rather have him off the bench for an at-bat than have him for a few innings," said manager Don Mattingly. "We've got to make sure our communication gets better. If you can't play, you can't play. There's no shame in that."
Puig also left Thursday's 6-1 win against the Rockies after the seventh inning. The rookie said the injury has lingered since he slammed his left leg into the right-field fence at Coors Field on July 3. Puig has started each game since, though.
"It feels a lot better today," he said. "I'll rest, get some treatment and see how it feels tomorrow."
Does Puig think a day off would be beneficial?
"It could be, but I really want to get on the field and play, because we're close to first place [in the National League West]," he said.
Scott Van Slyke replaced Puig in right field in the top of the fifth and went 0-for-2.
Meanwhile, Carl Crawford was scratched from Friday's lineup because of a stiff lower back.
Crawford felt stiffness in his lower back after taking early batting practice Friday, but it's been lingering since Thursday, Mattingly said. Crawford has not started the past two games and is 2-for-25 since returning from a strained hamstring last Friday.
"He tried to hit a little bit today, but it seems like it's still not quite where he wants it," Mattingly said. "So we'll just be a little careful and see as he warms up during the course of the game what he'll be able to do."
Skip Schumaker replaced Crawford in left field and at the top of the lineup and had one of the Dodgers' four hits.
Deadline passes with top 12 Draft picks signed
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers signed their top 12 picks from the First-Year Player Draft and 28 of their 40 selections by the time the 2 p.m. PT deadline for signing picks passed on Friday.
The Dodgers' top two picks, right-hander Chris Anderson and left-hander Tom Windle have already begun their careers with Class A Great Lakes. Both pitchers signed within a week of the Draft for the designated slot amount -- $2,109,900 for Anderson and $986,500 for Windle.
Anderson has made four starts for the Loons, striking out 16 over 12 innings with a 3.75 ERA. Windle has appeared in three games, including two starts, with a 2.08 ERA over 8 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers signed 18 of their top 20 Draft picks, with left-hander Ty Damron (13th round) and right-hander Peter Miller (16th round) remaining unsigned. Damron, from Krum High School (Texas), has a partial scholarship to play at Texas Tech.
The Dodgers also signed two non-drafted free agent catchers in Dimitrios Papantonopoulos from Cal State Dominguez Hills and David Reid-Foley from Mercer University (Ga.).
• Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly, on the disabled list with a neck issue, threw a simulated game Friday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. Lilly faced Dodgers rookies Scott Van Slyke and Tim Federowicz, as well as Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto.
"He was pretty good, so we'll see how he bounces back out of this and then just kind of keep trying to form a plan for him to be ready," Mattingly said.
Lilly has been sidelined since June 5, and the club is considering the veteran as an option to move to the bullpen when he's activated.
• The Dodgers will the screen the hit film "42" after Saturday's game at Dodger Stadium. Academy Award winning director Brian Helgeland, actors Chadwick Boseman and John C. McGinley and Dodgers great Don Newcombe, a teammate of Jackie Robinson, will participate in a question-and-answer session prior to the screening. Fans seated in the outfield pavilions will be allowed down on the field to watch the movie.
• Saturday is On-Field Photo Day. Fans can enter through center field for a chance to take photos of Dodgers players. Center field gates open at 1 p.m. PT.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.